Tinashe Zisengwe

A cattle rustler from Tshanyaugwe area in Gwanda South who recently hogged the limelight after his house was burnt by a mob of people that were angry at his level of stock theft has been sentenced 15 years in prison.

Lovemore Moyo is alleged to have stolen 11 beasts belonging to Naison Moyo of Gungwe area in Gwanda South before fleeing to South Africa after sensing danger.

Upon his absence Naison got a tip off that his cattle were stolen by Lovemore and he reprimanded the relatives who pledged seven cattle as compensation.

Lovemore was arrested after the police were tipped that he was back and now staying at his sister’s house in Gwanda Township.

Appearing before local Magistrate Mafios Moyo he denied the theft charges saying he could not recall the person who sold him the cattle.

“Your worship l did not steal the cattle but instead l bought them with my herd boy who has since left me and is now residing at an unknown place in Binga. I could have brought him to testify but we have now lost contact,” pleaded Lovemore.

Magistrate Moyo failed to buy his story saying, “If you were innocent your relatives would not have offered to pay seven cattle. This can only be associated with a behavior of a guilty person.”

He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars with three years suspended on condition of good behavior with the other three were also set aside on condition that he restitutes the complainant his seven cattle, leaving him with an effective nine years.