A 91-YEAR-OLD man from Chief Marupi’s area in Gwanda, who was initially charged with theft of 24 cattle, has been slapped with a nine-year jail term for stocktheft after he was found guilty of stealing two of the missing beasts.
Josias Sililo Mleya denied the stocktheft charges when he appeared before Filabusi resident magistrate Mzingaye Moyo.
On Friday the magistrate convicted him of stealing two cattle and found him not guilty of stealing other 22 beasts due to lake of evidence.
The two beasts worth $1 200 were recovered from him.
Moyo then sentenced Mleya to nine years in jail, which means he will get out of jail at the ripe age of 100.
In sentencing him, the magistrate said he considered that he was a first offender and elderly.
However, he said he was incarcerating him to a mandatory nine years because there were no special circumstances.
He said for the other 22 beasts there was no evidence that Mleya stole them.
Prosecutor Smart Tafireyi told the court that sometime in March 2012, Mleya, in the company of Josias Moyo and Levy Mbedzi who are still at large, went to Mabuze area in Filabusi where they stole 24 cattle belonging to Gandie Gedion Mokoena.
On March 2012, they took the cattle to Gwanda where Mleya obtained a cattle branding iron belonging to his girlfriend, Grace Dube, and they put the brand marks on the beasts.
A report made to the police by Mokoena led to Mleya’s arrest and two beasts were recovered from him.