Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
TWO cattle rustlers stole 16 cattle at gunpoint in Jambezi after pointing their guns at herd boys.
Nkosilathi Ncube, 21, and Trevor Sibanda, 13, of Jambezi, under Chief Shana were herding cattle in the company of three seven-year-old boys in Chenje area of Jambezi in Hwange district when they were confronted by the armed pair.
Hwange Rural District Council deputy chairperson, Matthew Mleya, said police were investigating.
He said they had no information if the cattle rustlers were Zimbabweans or foreigners.
“We always experience such cases where the culprits either from Zimbabwe or Zambia target the entry points along the Zambezi River and drive through cattle to the neighbouring country. At this point of time, we’ve no idea if the culprits are locals or foreigners but usually its foreigners who indulge in such activities,” said Mleya.
He said the local leadership had agreed that any suspicious stranger seen in the villages should be taken to the chief, councillor or headmen for identification.
“We’re worried about the water levels in the Zambezi River because when water is low, cattle rustlers take advantage of the many crossing points,” said the deputy council chairperson.
Mathusi Moyo, a villager, said the herd boys were approached by two men who pointed guns at them.
“Ncube ran away leaving the younger boys behind with the culprits. After walking for a while, the two men released the rest of the boys. The two men continued to drive away the cattle,” he said.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi could not immediately comment on the investigation.
In September last year, police in Matabeleland North embarked on an anti-crime campaign following an upsurge in stock theft cases in the province.
The campaign that was led by the Officer Commanding Police Lupane District, Chief Superintendent Johannes Govo, involved anti-stock theft cops and other officer. It was aimed at empowering people to safeguard property and life.