MatSouth police looking for thieves who stole 18 donkeys

Police in Matabeleland South are looking for livestock thieves who are suspected of stealing 18 donkeys and selling them in Beitbridge in exchange for goats.

Matabeleland South Provincial Police Spokesperson, Inspector Loveness Mangena, confirmed the incident and said although the donkeys had been recovered, efforts were underway to apprehend the culprits.

“18 donkeys were recovered at Msane Village, Zezane on April 10, 2023. We are looking for Ngameni Moyo of Village 10, Shashe village, who was working with two other suspects, a male and a female, who have not yet been identified,” Insp Mangena said. 

“The suspects were barter trading the donkeys with goats. One donkey was equivalent to three goats. The police received a tip-off on the matter but when they arrived there the suspects had already fled.”

Three of the recovered donkeys have since been identified by the owner as they were branded.

Insp Mangena urged villagers to look after their livestock well and make sure they are branded for positive identification should there be theft cases. 

She also requested anyone with information on the suspects’ whereabouts to contact their nearest  police station.

Meanwhile, two anti-stocktheft organisations have issued a warning about three individuals accused of driving twelve donkeys from Limpopo to Gwanda.

The two groups, Vulture Team, based in Gohole Village, Ward 17 and Gasta Msasa anti-stock theft team, both reported that the suspects had used forged documents to pass through the roadblocks. 

Sibanda told CITE that while carrying out their investigations they discovered Newman had dual identification documents, one from South Africa, which identified him as Raymond Manda and one from Zimbabwe, which identified him as Newman Dube and he admitted to having been moving livestock for a number of years. 

“Vulture Team (amanqe) an anti-stocktheft organisation based in Gohole Village ward 17 managed to intercept three suspects on April 7, 2023 who were driving several donkeys. The suspects were cross examined by the members of the Gohole Vulture Team who discovered that the clearance which the suspects had in their possession was not proper,” Sibanda said. 

“Evans and Ephraim are from Limpopo, Beitbridge, Village 3, Maramani. They claimed that Newman sent them to fetch those donkeys and deliver them to Gungwizha at Matanangombe in Gwanda. Gasta Msasa and Vultures noticed that the clearance letter they had was not properly done. Infact, they did not have the clearance letter as required by the law for moving the donkeys from Beitbrdge to Gwanda.” 

While carrying out their investigations, Sibanda said they discovered that the donkeys were from South Africa, at a place called Boghomo.

“Newman , who claimed to be the owner of the donkeys, admitted that he has been in this lucrative business of moving livestock from South Africa to Zimbabwe for the past three years. Limpopo villagers confirmed that Ephraim is a habitual thief who is always terrorising them. Surprisingly these suspects managed to pass through the roadblocks with fake clearance letters,” he said. 

“Ephraim and Evans escaped at around 2100hrs leaving behind 12 donkeys and a red motorbike which are in the hands of Gohole Vulture Team and Gasta as exhibits. ZRP managed to respond swiftly to the matter and they are assisting with the investigations. We are calling upon all villagers and organisations to join hands in fighting stock theft crime which is rampant in Matabeleland.”

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