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Prominent businessman jailed 10 years for stock theft

by Staff reporter
29 Nov 2023 at 15:28hrs | Views
A PROMINENT Gweru-based businessman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of stock theft.

Appearing before Gweru magistrate Mr Langton Ndokera facing one count of stock theft was Tafadzwa Chokoto (29) of Woodlands Phase 2 in Gweru.

Chokoto pleaded not guilty but was convicted after a full trial.

Mr Ndokera sentenced him to 10 years before suspending one year on condition that he restitutes the complainant Ms Emma Hwanda US$700 on or before November 30.

Chokoto's accomplices – Clayton Pedzisai (29) of Tinshell, Gweru, and Tapiwa Mano (19) of Happy Valley, were each sentenced to nine years in prison.

Innocent Ndlovu (22) – who was employed to man Chokoto's plot was found not guilty and was acquitted at the close of the State case.

The court heard that on August 23, at around 9 PM, Ms Hwanda`s herdsman, Tatenda Mativenga, penned her six cattle in their pen.

On the same night, the accused persons connived and stole the cattle which they kept at a plot in Ngamo.

The next day, at around 7AM the accused slaughtered two of the cattle and loaded the carcasses into Chokoto`s motor vehicle and offloaded the meat at his butchery in Woodlands Phase 2 Shopping Centre.

On August 25, the police received a tipoff about the unknown origin of Chokoto`s cattle at his plot. The police teamed up with the complainant and proceeded to the plot, where the cattle were positively identified in the presence of Ndlovu.

Ndlovu led the police around the plot where they recovered two fresh cow hides cut into two halves which were identified as those of slaughtered beasts. He also confirmed that he saw the three accused persons and Courage Mabheka (who is still at large) slaughtering two beasts.

The total value of stolen beasts was US$2 000 of which US$1 300 was recovered.

Source - The Chronicle