Binga cattle rustler jailed

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A BINGA man was last week jailed for an effective nine years in prison for stealing seven beasts from a neighbouring village.

NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Clever Mutale (29) of Magani village in Kariangwe under Chief Siansali was convicted on his own plea of guilty to stocktheft when he appeared before Hwange provincial magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa.

Maphosa treated the counts as one for sentencing and handed him the mandatory sentence after he failed to prove special extenuating circumstances as to why he committed the offence.

In mitigation, Mutale asked for lenience saying he was a family man, who has eight minor children and two wives and had wanted to sell the beasts to fend for his family.

However, in sentencing him, Maphosa said stocktheft was a serious offence and wanted to send a clear message to would be offenders that society would not condone such behaviour.

“However, for your benefit, I have considered that you are a first offender and you indicated that you will restitute the complainant hence you deserve a minimum mandatory sentence,” Maphosa said.

Tinomupeyi Mbiza, for the State, told the court that on the night of March 24, Mutale went to the complainant Muyambo Siamanondo Mello’s homestead.

On arrival, he went to the cattle pen and stole seven beasts and drove them to his homestead in Kariangwe.

The following morning, Mello woke up and found his cattle missing and proceeded to make a police report at Kamativi Police Base.

In April, police went around schools on awareness campaigns and got a tip-off from a pupil from one school that Mutale was keeping suspected stolen beasts.

After the tip-off, they went to Mutale’s homestead disguised as buyers and found the four beasts belonging to Mello at his homestead leading into his arrest.

Upon his arrest, Mutale made indications leading to the recovery of one beast but two of them had been sold to a butchery.

The recovered beast had been bartered for a scotch cart with a neighbour.

The total value of the stolen beasts was $3 000 and those worth $2 400 were recovered.