Cop jailed over stocktheft

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A POLICE constable based at the Lupane Police Station was yesterday slapped with a 12-month jail term for abuse of office for fraudulently processing four cattle clearance forms for a stocktheft suspect and using names of other villages in an attempt to authenticate the deal.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

The cop, Solace Joshua Ngarize (24), who was being charged with stocktheft or alternatively abuse of office, pleaded guilty to abuse of office when he appeared before Lupane magistrate Aelene Munamati yesterday.

Munamati convicted and sentenced Ngiraze to 12 months in jail.

However, six months of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

In mitigation, his lawyer Lison Ncube submitted that he was a first offender and pleaded with the court to give him a community service sentence.

But prosecutor Sanders Sibanda opposed the community service sentence saying doing so for a police officer who acted corruptly would trivialise the offence of abuse of office.

The magistrate concurred with the State submissions and slapped Ngarize with a prison term.

On December 28 2013 Onious Moyo of Daluka Village took his cattle with TSY brand marks to pastures around the St Luke’s area.

When he went to collect them, he discovered that four beasts were missing. On January 2 2014, they were seen at Ndamuleni village in Lupane at Losa Moyo’s home.

On January 16, Ngarize allegedly went to the anti-stock-theft police section in Lupane where he took some clearance forms, but was warned by other police officers that the cattle which he wanted to clear were suspected to have been stolen.

However, Ngarize defied their advice and went on to take the forms and completed the forms and gave them to the stocktheft suspect Maclose Mathe.

Mathe took the forms and sold one of the stolen beasts to one Jabulani Mhlanga who then slaughtered it at his butchery.

Mathe drove the other three beasts to Umguza abattoirs where he intended to sell them.

It was the State’s case that an alert veterinary officer at the abattoirs discovered that the cattle which were described in the clearance forms did not match their physical description and ordered that they be taken back to the police for verification.

It was also further discovered that Ngarize had, in completing the forms, filled the names of one villager Dolly Moyo claiming she had sold the beasts to Mathe and also used a fictitious name as a witness.

The police launched investigations and discovered that Ngarize assisted Mathe in the stocktheft by fraudulently filling the clearance forms.

When Mathe realised that he had been busted, he fled and is still on the run.