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John Nkomo's son loses 42 cattle

by Staff reporter
27 Feb 2024 at 03:05hrs | Views
THE late Vice President John Landa Nkomo's son, Mr Jabulani Nkomo, lost a herd of 42 cattle in a suspected cattle rustling syndicate involving his two former workers who are now on the run.

The animals were stolen at Mr Nkomo's farm in Umguza District and police have since launched a manhunt for the two herders; Tatenda Chimombe and Blessed Neganje.

The matter was reported at Insuza Police Station under the Reports Received Book (RRB) number 5426445 and it is being handled by one Assistant Inspector Khumalo.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday confirmed the case, saying investigations are underway.

"We are investigating a case which was reported at our police station in Insuza by Jabulani Nkomo, the son of the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo concerning the theft of 42 cattle. The prime suspect in the matter is one Tatenda Chimombe who has been on the run since January," he said.

The latest development comes barely a month after two men from Emganwini suburb in Bulawayo were recently intercepted and arrested by police for rustling a herd of 19 cattle.

Edmore Bhibhi (46) and Farai Pambukani (28) were spotted by an informant driving a truck loaded with cattle along Esigodini road. The informant tried to stop them but they sped towards Bulawayo before their arrest.

Mr Nkomo said he became suspicious following the discovery of carcasses of six stolen beasts at an abattoir located on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

The stolen animals belonged to one Mduduzi Mloyi, and they were slaughtered at the abattoir after they were cleared by authorities from Insuza on December 21 last year.

This triggered Mr Nkomo to conduct a stock take to check his herd leading to the discovery of 42 missing cattle.

Mr Nkomo said he suspected Chimombe and Neganje started stealing the beasts in August last year, which was the last time they carried out a livestock stock take.

He said Neganje vanished in early December. Mr Nkomo later got a tip-off that some unknown trucks were spotted at his farm at night.

"Despite the normal stocktake, I was also influenced to carry out another stocktake in December following reports of trucks being spotted at my farm at night," said Mr Nkomo.

"Our August stocktake revealed that there were 119 cattle and in his December 7, 2023 report Chimombe had given us a figure of 106 cattle, comprising three bulls, 26 cows, 45 heifers, 24 weaners, and eight calves."

Mr Nkomo said the difference didn't mean much as he had slaughtered some cattle while others were sold.

Mr Nkomo said after conducting another stocktake, this time with the assistance of his tenant, they got 64 cattle made up of three bulls, 22 cows, 22 weaners, two heifers, and 15 calves. He made a report to the police.

Cases of stock theft are rampant across Zimbabwe with rustlers hitting farmers hardest in border areas where they work with cross-border syndicates to steal livestock.

On average, between 5 000 and 10  000 cases of livestock theft are reported each year in the country according to the Zimbabwe Republic Police Anti-Stock Theft Unit.

The unit has over the years intensified its campaigns, deployments, and community-based initiatives to fight animal theft, which is causing huge losses to farmers, and high levels of anxiety in communities that have built their flock over the years.

Last month, a cattle farmer, Mr Kindness Ndlovu of Ward 16 in Umguza district lost over 50 beasts to cattle rustlers.

Source - The Chronicle
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