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Stiffer penalties for small livestock thieves

by Staff reporter
16 Apr 2024 at 02:51hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT will consider imposing stiffer penalties for those who steal small livestock like chickens and goats and will soon table an amendment to the law to Parliament.

According to Parliamentarians, thieves are now stealing smaller livestock and when caught are just being fined and the practice has been rampant.

Rushinga MP Tendai Nyabani asked the Leader of Government business, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Professor Murwira what measures is Government putting in place to ensure that stiffer penalties are imposed on those who steal goats and chickens.

He said this during the Oral Questions Without Notice session in the House of Assembly last week.

"Good afternoon Hon. Speaker. I want to find out from the Leader of Government Business that when an offence of stock theft has occurred, those that steal cattle are the ones that are spending ten years. Now, thieves have realised this and they are now stealing smaller livestock and they are fined or given community service work. What measures is Government going to put in place to ensure that stiffer penalties are imposed on those thieves that are stealing goats and chickens because goats and chickens all fall under livestock?"

Professor Murwira said the question would give Government a chance to look at the law so that deterrent sentences could be imposed.

"I would like to thank Hon. Nyabani for the question as regards stock thefts. We are aware that if you steal cattle, you will spend nine years in prison but for a goat and other types of livestock, a fine is imposed. He wants to find out what Government policy is. What he suggested is a good idea.

It will also give us a chance to look at the law and see if we can bring it before the august House for amendments so that culprits are sentenced to stiffer sentences.  If you have goats, you treasure them just as cattle.  All livestock owners should be protected in terms of the law.  We are not against what he has suggested.  We will bring the amendment to this august House. Thank you."

Source - The Chronicle