Lovemore Kadzura Rusape Correspondent
A RUSAPE prodigal son did the unthinkable when he teamed up with his uncle to steal 31 cattle valued at $17 000 from his father while he was in the United States of America.
The offence was discovered when the complainant returned and demanded to physically inspect and count his herd.
The prime suspect Takudzwa Mufandaedza (28) was arrested on stock theft charges alongside his uncle Brighton Chirisa (41), of Marowa Village.
The two were not asked to plead when they appeared before Rusape provincial magistrate Mr Shane Kubonera.
Takudzwa, who is Mr Innocent Mufandaedza’s son, appeared in court as a self-actor and was locked up in remand prison.
Chirisa was granted $100 bail.
They will be back in court on October 17, 2018 for trial.
State lawyer Mr Gift Mutigwa told the court that the accused persons took advantage of the complainant’s absence to steal and sell his cattle.
“The accused persons are complainant’s son and uncle, respectively. On the date unknown to the prosecutor, but in 2016, the complainant assigned the two to take charge of his 55 cattle.
“In 2017, on an unknown date, the two connived to sell the cattle without the complainant’s knowledge as he was in the United States of America. They sold 31 cattle to various buyers.
“On return from the USA to his work place in Harare 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 his cattle so that he physically checks them.
“Takudzwa then went out and collected the cattle belonging to their neighbours and presented them to his father purporting that they were his since they had sold some of them. The complainant fell for the trick and assumed that the cattle were his. He then gave Takudzwa 18 ear tags to brand all the cattle for easy identification.
“When the complainant left for Harare, Takudzwa and Chirisa released the cattle from their pen. The neighbours later discovered that their cattle had ear tags and confronted the complainant, questioning why he had branded them without their consent.
“It was then that the complainant discovered that his son and uncle had sold him a dummy by misrepresenting his neighbours’ cattle as his. He settled the matter with his neighbours,” he said.
On September 13, 2018 the complainant made a report to Rusape police.
Of the stolen 31 cattle, 11 were recovered.
Value of stolen cattle was estimated at $12 400 and $4 400 for the recovered beasts.