Suspected Zvishavane cattle serial rustler nabbed


A SUSPECTED Zvishavane cattle rustler who has been on the police wanted list for allegedly stealing villagers’ beasts through fraudulent stock cards and clearance letters has been arrested.


Rainos Takawira of Matara village under Chief Chivi appeared before Zvishavane magistrate Peter Madiba facing charges of stocktheft and fraud last week.

The State alleged that on August 18 last year, one Boniface Vakai of Tanaka village under Chief Masunda in Zvishavane, released his cattle for grazing on a free range system in the morning.

Later Vakai failed to locate two heifers, a calf and an ox that were grazing together with Stephen Gwarega’s oxen that also disappeared.

On the same day, Takawira had bought a veterinary permit number 0951060P in Zvishavane where he lied to the veterinary officer that he intended to drive three beasts from Zvishavane to Mberengwa before he went on to steal Vakai and Gwarega’s cattle from the pastures.

Takawira, who is alleged to have applied the same trick in other cases under investigation, used the permit to drive stolen beasts to his homestead in Matara village.

He then exchanged two stolen heifers for two oxen with Isaac Gwenere of Torima village under Chief Gweremhere and his headman Tasaranago Matara witnessed the deal before clearing the transaction.

A police clearance was obtained and Takawira went on to sell Vakai’s ox together with the other two oxen he obtained from the exchange deal with Gwenhere to Koala Meats in Masvingo on veterinary permit number 42966P issued by a Chivi veterinary office on August 22 2013.

During a police search, Vakai’s two heifers were positively identified and recovered from Gwenere’s cattle kraal and they were given back to the owner.

Investigations revealed that Takawira had made several other cattle transactions using the same method and sold the stolen cattle to Koala Meats. Receipts of those transactions were obtained as evidence.

He was remanded in custody to August 20 to allow the State to bring more witnesses to testify in the case.