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Cases of stock theft decline by 4 percent in Masvingo

Cases of stock theft decline by 4 percent in Masvingo

Story by Gay Matambo

Stock theft cases have declined in Masvingo province after law enforcement agents partnered with traditional leaders to effectively fight cattle rustling.

At the launch of the Masvingo Provincial Anti-Stock Theft campaign in Chilonga recently, Zimbabwe Republic Police Chiredzi Station Commanding Officer and Chief Superintendent, Robert Chihwereva revealed that Chiredzi district is among the worst affected by cattle rustling in Masvingo Province.

Despite the high stock theft statistics, efforts to combat the vice are bearing fruit.

“From May 2022 to April 2023, 360 stock theft cases were recorded while 347 stock theft cases were recorded from May 2023 to April 2024 in Masvingo Province. This shows a decline in stock theft cases of 4% in Masvingo. 64 people were arrested in connection with stock theft cases in the year 2024,” he said.

Chilonga villagers could not hide their joy saying this development will restore confidence among villagers.

“I once lost 4 cattle to cattle rustlers last year and never got them back, but after the launch of this programme, I have confidence that I will not lose my cattle again,” said one of the villagers.

Another added, “We were taught on the importance of improved fencing, branding, surveillance and community watch in order to curb stock theft.”

“Our livestock is our source of income and losing livestock to thieves is a major blow to most communal farmers especially now when most of us did not harvest anything in the fields hence we appreciate this programme,” noted another villager.

Chief Chilonga urged villagers in his area to establish strong relations with the police in the fight against stock theft.

“We are very happy with this programme that has come our way. I would also like to challenge the people of Chilonga to assist the police so that we can combat stock theft,” he said.

The government says cattle branding will become mandatory starting next month in line with efforts to combat stock theft.

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