GWANDA magistrate Arafat Kozanai is today set to conduct an inspection in loco (on-the-spot inspection) on a donkey that was allegedly stolen by a Zimbabwean man in Botswana.
State prosecutor Edward Ndlovu yesterday made an application for the inspection of the donkey after both the accused and complainant claimed ownership of the animal.
Nkosiyabo Gumbi (33) of Ngoma village under Chief Marupi pleaded not guilty to stocktheft charges and urged the court to conduct a physical inspection of the donkey to arrive at a fair conclusion.
Ndlovu told the court that between December 2013 and February 2014, Samuel Pharudi of Semolale village in Silibe Phikwe, Botswana discovered that one of his donkeys had been stolen from the kraal. He then tracked its spoor and noticed that it led to the Zimbabwe side of the border.
On April 3, Pharudi visited Ngoma village in the company of a police constable and conducted a search for his donkey.
They found the grey female donkey at Trevor Ndlovu’s homestead and he indicated that he had bought it from Gumbi.
Pharudi told the court that when they found the donkey, Gumbi’s brand mark had been imposed over his and the wounds from the brand mark were still fresh.
Pharudi said he had branded the donkey last year on its neck and on the hind leg. He said the earmarks on the donkey were his and had not been tempered with.
In his defence, Gumbi claimed ownership of the donkey saying he had also branded it on the neck and hind leg.
The two gave contradicting ages of the donkey with Pharudi saying it was born last year while Gumbi said it was born in 2011.
This led to Ndlovu applying for an inspection in loco of the donkey which is in police custody in Borabora in Tuli. Ndlovu said it was important that the donkey be inspected before the case was closed.
Asked by Kozanai whether resources permitted for the inspection, Ndlovu said arrangements would be made.
Pharudi, who had come from the neighbouring country for the trial together with another State witnesses Ben Moses, was advised to return to court today for the inspection of the donkey worth $150.