Lovemore Kadzura Post Correspondent
A DARING Rusape man who teamed up with his uncle to steal 31 cattle valued at $12 400 from his father who was in the United States of America was convicted of stock theft and sentenced to nine years in jail.
Takudzwa Mufandaedza (28) and his uncle Brighton Chirisa (41), of Marowa Village in Rusape, were late last month convicted by Rusape provincial magistrate Mr Shane Kubonera after full trial.
The two convicts had pleaded not guilty to the charges, but we convicted due to overwhelming evidence adduced during their trial.
Takudzwa is the biological son of the complainant Innocent Mufandaedza.
He was not represented and was in custody while, Chirisa was out on bail and was represented by Rusape lawyer Mr Tendai Bvuma, of Bvuma and Associates.
Mr Bvuma had told the court that Mufandaedza never jointly stole the cattle with his client.
He said Chirisa was merely an employee, who acted on orders from Takudzwa, who was in charge of operations in the absence of his father.
Prosecutor Mr Gift Mutigwa told the court that duo took advantage of the complainant’s absence to sell his cattle and later lied to him that his cattle had died.
“The accused persons are complainant’s son and uncle, respectively. On the date unknown to the prosecutor, but during the year 2016 the complainant assigned the two accused persons to take charge of his 55 herd of cattle.
“In 2017, on an unknown date, the two accused persons started selling the complainant’s cattle without his knowledge while he was in the United States of America. They sold 31 cattle to various buyers.
“On the return of the complainant from United States of America to his work place in Harare, his son Takudzwa informed him that 20 cattle had died. On September 10, 2018 the complainant went to his rural home and asked his son to pen all the cattle so that he physically checks them.
“Takudzwa then went out and collected the cattle of his neighbours and presented them to his father purporting that they were his, yet he had sold them. The father assumed that the cattle belonged to him and gave Takudzwa some ear tags to brand all the cattle for easy identification before leaving for Harare.
“After the complainant left for Harare Takudzwa and Chirisa released the cattle from the pen. The owners of the cattle discovered that they had ear tags and confronted the complainant as to why he had branded their cattle with ear tags without their approval.
“Complainant then discovered that the accused persons had misrepresented to him his neighbours cattle as if they belong to him. The complainant solved the matter with his neighbours amicably. On September 13, 2018 the complainant made a report to Rusape police. Of the 31 cattle that had been stolen, 11 have were recovered. The value of stolen bovines is $12 400 and those recovered were valued at $4 400,” he said.