AN alleged notorious thief from Brunapeg in Mangwe District, Matabeleland South province, has been arrested in connection with theft of 110 cattle from Kezi and across the border in Botswana following an operation by villagers who teamed up with the police to track him down.
Dumisani Moyo’s luck ran out on Thursday last week when villagers from Kezi and Mangwe under chiefs Hobodo and Bango teamed up with the police to track him.
Sources said villagers followed a spoor and caught up with Moyo where he was arrested and led the group to his pen which had 110 stolen beasts, worth about US$50 000.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the recovery of the cattle at Brunapeg.
“There is a herd of cattle that was recovered by the police together with villagers in Brunapeg. We are yet to get full details on the case,” said Insp Mangena.
However, villagers told Sunday News that they followed a spoor for about 20km until they spotted Moyo in a bushy area in Sanzukwi.
Mr Lazarous Ngwenya who was part of the operation said after catching up with Moyo they interrogated him and he led them to Brunapeg where he had penned more than 100 stolen cattle.
“It seems he was running a racket where he rounded up cattle and penned them in his area. He was stealing cattle from as far as Kezi and Botswana.
Some of the villagers managed to identify their cattle which they lost many months ago. Among the recovered were 40 calves,” said Mr Ngwenya.
He said the trap was set after villagers received information on how their cattle were being rounded up in the area.
“Two months back we got leads on how our livestock was being stolen. We then formed teams of different groups to try and clamp down on this syndicate.
Hence we had an operation on Thursday that was meant to crackdown on livestock thieves in the area.
We did this in a collective manner and as concerned villagers together with our traditional leaders, the chiefs.
With the help of Mphoengs police from their Brunapeg base, we recovered 110 beasts which are now being kept at Brunapeg,” said Mr Ngwenya.
Meanwhile, Insp Mangena said police also arrested two people at Mayobodo in Mangwe who have since been convicted and sentenced for stock theft.
The recovery comes barely a month after a community anti-stock theft committee in Irisvale, Esigodini proved worthwhile after they ambushed cattle rustlers who had slaughtered five beasts which were destined for Bulawayo.
The cattle rustlers were intercepted by a 10-member anti-stock theft committee. – @nyeve14