Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
Police in Midlands province have arrested four suspected cattle rustlers who were terrorising villagers in Lalapanzi and Chiundura areas.
Midlands Provincial Police Spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said the gang is linked to five cases of cattle rustling in Lalapanzi and surrounding areas.
“Police in Lalapanzi, have arrested a gang of four men in connection with five cases of cattle rustling after allegedly terrorising villagers in Lalapanzi, Chiundura and Wadzanai areas,” said Inspector Mahoko.
He said the first suspect Chriswell Maponga (42), who is believed to be the gang leader was once arrested and released on bail after he was found in possession of fourteen stolen cattle and later implicated others.
“It is alleged that the first suspect, Maponga of village Tafara under Chief Chiundura would steal heifers from the grazing lands and keep them at a farm in Gweru. He would later exchange them with farmers for oxen,” said Inspector Mahoko.
He was arrested however after a tip off from the members of the public.
“On 19 January 2021, police received information that Maponga was in possession of fourteen cattle. Police reacted swiftly and arrested him and recovered the cattle,” he said.
Maponga was arraigned before the courts and was released on bail.
He however breached some of the bail conditions and a warrant of arrest was issued against him.
“On 25 July police received a tip off that he had been seen at his homestead and police reacted swiftly and arrested him. He implicated three other people whom he was operating with,” said Inspector Mahoko.
Those implicated and arrested are Fanuel Sitiga (31), Tinei Moyo (38) and Walter Mukiza (40).
Whilst Maponga was remanded in custody, the other three were released on bail after appearing in court.
Inspector Mahoko urged members of the public to follow proper procedures when buying or selling their stock.
“Member of the public are called upon to embrace the practice of clearing all livestock transactions with local police officers. This safeguards them from their risk of acquiring stolen stock and ends up being criminally charged,” said Inspector Mahoko.