A RUSAPE-BASED police officer who was allegedly abusing his position to mastermind cattle rustling activities in communities surrounding the town recently ran out of luck when he was caught red-handed by alert villagers.

Chrispen Sanyatwe (32) – a Constable at Rusape Rural Police Station – was arrested together with three accomplices — Tafadzwa Bayayi (24), Robert Arupaneti (34) and Wayne Time (19). The quartet was being represented by Mr Leonard Chigadza of Chigadza and Associates when they appeared before Rusape magistrate, Mrs Rufaro Machingura, on initial remand.

Mr Chigadza lodged a complainant against the police, claiming that they did not intervene when Sanyatwe and his accomplices were being assaulted by irate villagers.

Prosecuting, Ms Theresa Mangwende said Sanyatwe used a ZRP clearance form with a name of a non-existing person to sell a stolen beast to Surrey Abattoirs.

“On November 14, Diana Murondoduri of Tikwiri Village released her herd of cattle for grazing. Accused persons took advantage of the fact that the cattle were unattended and stole two beasts.

“The cattle were cleared by Sanyatwe using police clearance forms. Taurai Sanyatwe, Chrispen’s brother, posed as the buyer. Clearance papers were forged with the owner identified as Magret Chitiyo, someone who does not exist. Bayayi transported the cattle to Surrey on November 15. When they were arrested, the accused persons were found in possession of a rope which was used by the complainant to tie her cattle,” said Ms Mangwende.

In Tapera Village, Ms Mangwende said Sanyatwe and his accomplices bought one beast but stole another one from another villager. They were intercepted by villagers as they were transporting the beasts.

“On November 19 at around 2am, the accused persons went to Willard Tima’s homestead and stole an ox. They loaded it in a Mazda Bongo truck which was being driven by Sanyatwe, who was in police uniform.

“While driving towards Tsanzaguru suburb, the accused persons were signalled to stop by three village anti-stock theft members who were on patrol. The accused did not stop and the villagers alerted others to intercept the vehicle.

“After noticing that villagers were blocking the road, the accused persons dropped the stolen ox on the roadside. The accused persons were arrested by the villagers and later handed to police,” said Ms Mangwende.

— Manica Post

Breaking News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Breaking News by email.