Cattle rustler jailed 54 years for stealing 49 beasts

By Tapiwa Svondo

A Gweru Magistrates Court has handed down a prison sentence of 54 years on Tinodakufa Hove after his conviction for stealing 49 cattle on different times.

Hove was convicted of six counts of stock theft, involving a total of forty-nine cattle.

As a result of the multiple offenses committed, the accused person has been sentenced to an effective prison term of 54 years, signifying the gravity of the crimes committed.

In a statement by the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe said

“Tinodakufa Hove (36) of Zvishavane was sentenced to 54 years in prison by the Gweru Magistrates Court for 6 counts of stock theft involving forty-nine cattle.

“Brief facts are that on an unknown day in July 2021, at Gwanza Village Lalapanzi, the complainant released his herd of cattle for grazing. On the same day, the accused person went to the grazing land and stole the complainant’s 7 herd of cattle and drove them to his farm in Zvishavane. On the same day, the complainant rounded up his herd and discovered that 7 cattle were missing.

“The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the accused person. The accused person was interviewed by the Police but he denied the allegations. The police also found nothing at his farm. During the course of the investigations, Police received information that the accused person was exchanging cattle with villagers 89km away and selling the exchanged beasts to butcheries in Zvishavane. Investigations led to the recovery of 4 cattle which were positively identified by the complainant.

“Further investigations revealed that over a period spanning from March 2022 to July 2023, the accused person stole forty-two more cattle from 5 families around Lalapanzi. Twelve more cattle were recovered.

“The accused person was sentenced to 54 years imprisonment effectively”, said the statement

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