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Cattle rustlers remanded in custody


GWERU-Four suspected cattle rustlers who pounced on Grassmead Farm and stole six beasts before they slaughtered two of them, have been remanded in custody to October 26 for continuation of trial.

Tafadzwa Chokoto (29), Clayton Pedzisai (29), Tapiwa Mano (19) and Innocent Ndlovu (22) were not asked to plead to stock theft charges when they appeared before Provincial Magistrate, Tinashe Ndokera.

The State, led by Fredrick Macheza told the court that on August 23 last year, Chokoto, Pedzisai, Mano and one Courage Mabheka who is still at large, allegedly connived and stole 6 beasts belonging to Emma Hwanda of Grassmead Farm.

They then kept the cattle at Chokoto’s plot number 75 in Ngamo, Gweru.

On August 24, 2023 at around 7am, the court heard that the quartet slaughtered two beasts and loaded the carcasses in Chokoto’s white Nissan vehicle to one of  his butcheries in Woodlands Phase 2 Shopping Centre.

Prosecutor Macheza added that on the 25th of August, police received a tip- off that Chokoto had cattle at his plot in Ngamo whose origins were not known.

“Working on a tip-off, the police proceeded to Ngamo and found Chokoto and his herdboy (Ndlovu) on the plot.

“Whilst at the plot, the complainant (Hwanda) managed to identify one of the stolen beasts,” he said.

Upon being interrogated, herdboy Ndlovu then spilled the beans to the police that Chokoto, Mano, Pedzisai and Mabheka slaughtered two cattle and led them to two fresh hides concealed behind the cattle pen, narrated Macheza.

However, the four through their legal counsel Tonderai Chitere of Chitere and Chidawanyika legal practitioners denied the allegations.

They told the court that Chokoto purchased two steers from Happy Valley Farm owned by one Mabheka on 16th August, 2023, adding that he never suspected that the beasts were stolen.

The total value of the stolen cattle was US$2000 and cattle worth US$1300 were recovered.

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