Cases of stock theft have continued to rise in Matabeleland South Province with 922 reports having been made last year compared to 910 recorded in 2016.  

Police say the value of the cattle stolen last year was over $1.3 million.

The proximity of Matabeleland South Province to Botswana and South Africa has also worsened the problem as syndicates are involved in cross border stock theft.

In an interview with the ZBC News following the recovery of 8 cattle from a Gwanda abattoir, the provincial anti-stock theft coordinator Chief Inspector Nyadore said various strategies are being employed by police to curb the crime.

Among the farmers whose cattle were recovered is Ms Josephine Franc from Mabulwe area in Bostwana which is about 8km from the Mlambapheli-Mamabaka border post.

She thanked Zimbabwean police for a job well done and is optimistic that her remaining herd will be recovered.

While Ms Franc will be able to take back her livestock to Botswana after the case has been finalised in court, the same cannot be said for Zimbabweans who recover their animals in Botswana as the neighbouring country has been shooting cattle from this side as part of its disease management strategy.

Police in Gwanda have on the other hand been keeping Ms Franc’s cattle at the ZRP grounds for the past month.