By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
A 34 year old man from Gwanda who has been on the run for about a year, has been arrested for allegedly stealing 24 head of cattle.
Prince Dube of Nhwali area was intercepted by police officers while trying to sell the stolen cattle at an abattoir in Gwanda.
He was not asked to plead when he appeared briefly before Gwanda magistrate, Miss Nomagugu Ncube, facing stock theft charges.
Dube was remanded out of custody to October 1 on $100 bail.
Prosecuting, Mr Takudzwa Mafudze said Dube stole the cattle on November 28 at Plot 12 Railway Block in West Nicholson area.
“Dube proceeded to Plot 12 Railway Block in West Nicholson where he stole 24 cattle belonging to Mr Hlompo Nare. He tampered with Mr Nare’s brand marks and put his own on five of the stolen cattle.
“He then took the five cattle to an abattoir in Gwanda on September 14 intending to sell them. The officials at the abattoir became suspicious after realising that Dube’s cattle had multiple fresh brand marks all over their bodies and they alerted the police. When the police approached Dube, he tried to flee leaving the cattle behind causing the police to pursue him leading to his arrest,” he said.
Mr Mafudze said the value of the stolen cattle is $18 000 and cattle worth $2 500 were recovered.
In his bail application lodged through Mr Sibanda Mawere of Morris Davison and Partners, Dube said he was entitled to bail as that was his constitutional right. He said the State did not have incriminating evidence against him.
Mr Mawere said on the day that Dube fled from the police, he did so as the officers who approached him were in civilian clothing and did not introduce themselves but rather fired warning shots causing him to flee out of fear.
“My client is a family man who has two children and has a fixed residence which is in John Dip area in Nhwali. It’s also the constitutional right of someone who is in custody to be awarded bail.
“The police who approached my client were in civilian attire and were driving a civilian car. They approached him while armed with rifles and he panicked and fled as he assumed that they were people who wanted to attack him. That was when the police officers fired warning shots and one of them shouted aloud that they were cops and my client stopped,” he said.
In granting Dube bail, Miss Ncube ordered him to report at Nhwali Police Base every Monday and Friday until the matter is finalised, to reside at the given address and not to interfere with State witnesses. The Chronicle