TWO COPS CHARGED WITH STOCKTHEFT

TWO police officers have been arrested for allegedly stealing five head of cattle from a grazing area in Gwanda which they later tried to sell.

POLICE SWALLOWS DOCTORED TICKET

Tinashe Gono (26), who is based at Tuli Base in Beitbridge and Sam Sibelo (32) based at Gwanda Rural Police Station were intercepted at Mbokodo Abattoir in the outskirts of Bulawayo while trying to sell the stolen beasts.

The two were not asked to plead when they briefly appeared before Gwanda Magistrate, Miss Nomagugu Ncube, facing stocktheft charges.

They were remanded out of custody to Friday after being granted $100 bail.

Prosecuting, Mr Takunda Mafudze said Gono and Sibelo stole the cattle from Matshetsheni grazing area during the period extending from August 24 to August 27.

Two of the beasts belonged to Mr Makhunga Khumalo, one to Mr Bhekithemba Moyo while the owners of the remainder are not known.

“During the period extending from 24 to 27 August, Gono unlawfully obtained a police stock clearance form from Tuli Base and connived with Sibelo and they went to Matshetsheni area where they stole five beasts.

“They completed the clearance form using the name of James Nyoni and they obtained a veterinary permit number to facilitate the movement of the stolen cattle to Mbokodo Abattoir,” he said.

Mr Mafudze said on August 27, Gono and Sibelo engaged the services of a truck driver who transported the cattle to Mbokodo Abattoir.

He said upon arrival at Mbokodo Abattoir, the truck driver took the stock clearance form to a security officer for verification.

“During the verification process the security officer noticed some anomalies and requested to see the owners of the cattle. The truck driver informed Gono and Sibelo but they refused to see the security officer,” said Mr Mafudze.

“The truck driver suspected foul play and alerted police offers at Donnington Police Station.
“When the police officers arrived to investigate, Gono and Sibelo ran away leaving their vehicle behind. Sergeant Sebele searched the vehicle and found some valuables which belonged to the accused persons.”

Mr Mafudze said investigations led to the arrest of Gono and Sibelo and identification of the owners of three of the cattle.

He said an identification parade was also conducted and the truck driver identified Gono and Sibelo as the people who had engaged his services to transport the beasts. The value of the stolen cattle is $3 000 and they were all recovered.

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