Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
LIVESTOCK thieves are reportedly on the loose in Tsholotsho along the border with Botswana where they are reportedly terrorising villagers targeting cattle, goats and donkeys.
Some of the cattle are reportedly stolen from the Botswana side and illegally driven to the Zimbabwean side in Tsholotsho, especially in Mgadume and Ward 13.
Police have since arrested one suspect John Sikente (47) who was caught loading some cattle into a truck in the company of two suspected accomplices who reportedly fled.
In a statement, police said it is suspected that some of the cattle are stolen from Botswana.
“Police in Tsholotsho have recovered nine cattle and two donkeys that had been stolen. The animals are suspected to have been stolen from Botswana. Police have arrested one suspect for stocktheft at Mgadume line under Chief Gampu. Two others who were seen loading cattle into a Toyota twin cab fled when they saw police approaching and are still at large,” said the police in a statement.
There are suspicions that some officials from Government departments are also involved in the criminal activity, according to sources in Tsholotsho.
Chief Gampu in whose area some of the criminal activities have been taking place, said some reports had been made.
“I don’t have much details but I have been told about some reports that came from Mgadume about theft of cattle,” said Chief Gampu.
Tsholotsho Rural District Council chief executive Mr Nkululeko Sibanda said some cattle were also stolen in Ward 13.
The cattle are either slaughtered and the beef is sold to surrounding communities or the beasts are transported to butcheries in Tsholotsho, Bulawayo and other places where they are slaughtered.
There is significant animal migration even across the border as both livestock and wildlife look for water because of the dry season associated with high temperatures.
Recently close to 100 buffaloes believed to have migrated from Botswana in search of water were reportedly causing havoc in Tsholotsho’s Wards 10, 11, 14, 15, 17 and 19.
Tsholotsho RDC rangers and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) drove the animals back across the border, Mr Sibanda confirmed in a recent interview. — @ncubeleon