A Gweru man who was last week arrested while trying to pay lobola with a stolen beast was on Friday sentenced to nine years in prison for stock theft.
Jonathan Ndlovu (28) of Somabhula resettlement area on the outskirts of Gweru pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Gweru magistrate, Mr Musaiona Shortgame.
He was convicted and sentenced to nine years.
Ndlovu appeared in court together with his father-in-law, Lavas Moyo who was also accused of being found in possession of a stolen heifer but was acquitted.
Moyo left the court in stitches when he knelt down thanking the magistrate for acquitting him.
“Thank you my Lord. I just innocently received the heifer which my son-in-law had brought as lobola. I did not know that it was a stolen beast. I was not going to accept it if I had known that it was stolen,” he said.
Agreed facts as presented to the court are that on 21 November, Ndlovu stole a heifer from his neighbour, Mr Sindani Mpofu which he intended to use to pay part of the bride price for his wife, Miss Nomsa Moyo.
The court heard that Ndlovu took the heifer to his in-laws’ homestead in Somabhula and tied it on a tree.
His father-in-law, Moyo immediately re-branded the heifer with a personalised brand without notifying the police.
Police got a tip-off following a report of stock theft and indications that the stolen beast was seen being driven by Ndlovu to his in-laws where he had gone to pay lobola. This led to the arrest of Ndlovu and his subsequent appearance in court.
Mr Munyaradzi Chizhande appeared for the State.
– Sunday News