The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

22 April 2011

Tanzania: Cattle Rustlers Strangle Boy, Steal 70 Goats

The risk of leaving children alone to take care of livestock resulted in the killing of one by cattle rustlers in Kiteto early this week. A primary school boy identified as Noel Simon, 13, was taking care of the family livestock when bandits pounced on him.

Accounts from the area said the gang strangled the boy to death before driving away with 700 head of cattle and 200 goats. He was a Standard One pupil at Lotapesi Primary School. The killing took place around 1 pm at Mbayeki Village in Sunya Ward. According to the Manyara regional police commander, Mr Parmena Sumary, the deceased was looking after livestock with his younger brother Naishoo Simon, aged seven when they were attaked.

The cattle rustlers are said to have used the piece of cloth the victim was wearing to strangle him to death. The younger boy managed to take off on seeing his elder brother under attack and reported the matter in the village. (Joseph Lyimo)

He told scores of villagers who responded to the distress call that he was unable to establish the number of rustlers.

But he confirmed seeing the bandits drive away the large herd of livestock the boys were looking after.

The villagers later managed to recover all the 700 cattle and 130 goats. The rustlers made away with 70 goats.

Mr Sumary said police were still tracking down the criminals who killed boy and have been pleading for clues that could lead to the arrest of the suspects.

Following the horrific killing, Manyara regional leaders have reiterated their call to residents of the area not to leave livestock in the care of children.

He said that children were exposed to attacks by both criminals and wild animals.

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