New Zimbabwe (London)

6 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Villagers Lose 600 Cows to Moza Rustlers

VILLAGERS from Chiredzi South have lost more than 600 cattle to rustlers since January, a sitting MP for the area has disclosed.

Retired General Kalisto Gwanetsa, who is Chiredzi South legislator, said Thursday poor villagers from his parliamentary constituency continue to lose their wealth to Mozambican cattle rustlers.

Gwanetsa said lack of good communication infrastructure in the area makes it difficult for victims to report the offences on time.

"Last week Chikombedzi Police Station told me that more than 600 cattle have so far been stolen from Chiredzi South Constituency alone.

I am talking about reported cases here, what about villagers who are yet to report?" he said.

"The shortage of basic communication infrastructure in this area is causing negative multiplier effects which haunt villagers in their day to day lives. How will they contact the police even if they see armed cattle rustlers driving their cattle to Mozambique?

"There are no mobile phone network; the roads are very bad, at times the rivers are impassable for almost four months because of flooding and villagers are cut off from visiting the nearest police station."

Gwanetsa was speaking during an Information and Media Panel of Inquiry meeting held at Chikombedzi on Thursday.

The councillor for Ward 11 in the area, Hebert Hasani was also up in arms with the police who sometimes take time to respond even if crime cases are reported on time.

"Sometimes villagers manage to report cases of stocktheft but the police's responsiveness is very slow. Sometimes the station would be without a car or the car would have broken down because of the bad roads," said councillor Hasani.

A villager from the area bemoaned the unavailability of abattoirs in their area saying that was denying them a profitable market.

Another villager said government must consider constructing a tarred road that links Chiredzi and Sango Boarder Post.

"What if they (government) construct a tarred road that links Chiredzi and Sango Boarder Post and then we would have an Abattoir which would be slaughtering our cattle for export to Mozambique? This would make us rich," said the villager.

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