Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
THE Police National Anti-Stock Theft Unit has launched a manhunt for five suspected thieves who are on its most wanted list for crimes committed around the country. The Anti-Stock Theft Unit said it was intensifying the country’s branding exercise to curb theft especially along the country’s borders. Anti-Stock Theft Unit National Coordinator Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza told The Chronicle that five people were on their most wanted list for stock-theft countrywide.
“We have serious national stock thieves we’re still hunting down as they’re on the wanted list. These are Kenias Mapanzure, 37, Andrew Ngwane, last seen in Chiredzi, Assa Edmore Mudavanhu last seen at Grange Farm in Masvingo, James Ndowamatho Munyanyi Baloyi, 28, last seen in Gwanda and Markam Munyangadzi. They were targeting cattle and goats in grazing areas all over the country,” Snr Asst Comm Makodza.
“These people are on the wanted list and anyone with information on their whereabouts can contact any nearest police station or the Anti-Stock Theft Unit on (04) 497715.”
He said police were on high alert to preserve the national herd. Snr Asst Comm Makodza appealed to all communities and farmers to ensure that all livestock was branded.
“The main thrust of branding is to ensure that we preserve livestock in line with Zim-Asset as the country wants to ensure enough food security and protecting livestock from theft can help achieve that goal,” Snr Asst Comm Makodza said.
“The advantage of branding is that livestock can easily be traced and stray cattle can no longer be auctioned as they’ll be easy to reunite with the owner.” Snr Asst Comm Makodza said a team from his unit was on the ground in Masvingo on a livestock branding exercise.
After Masvingo they will go to Matabeleland South, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces before moving to the Midlands and Mashonaland West provinces. Mashonaland Central and Manicaland provinces have been covered.
“Branding isn’t a Zimbabwean exercise alone but it’s an international requirement that all communities must follow. We’re appealing to all stakeholders to do awareness campaigns about branding for goats, sheep, cattle, donkeys and others,” he said.
“We’ve teams that are on the ground carrying out branding and we’re serious about it because it’s a national exercise. We’ve set a target that by end of next year all stock must be branded and our priority are cattle along borders because there’s a lot of activity taking place there.”