BIKITA – Terrified of going to jail, a convicted stock thief recently broke down before magistrate Florence Nago who had sentenced him and his co-accused to nine years in jail for stealing two donkeys and an ox.
Along with his accomplice Courage Kamutsi (20), Rhino Taengerwei (35) had pleaded guilty to two counts of stock theft but only to cry and plead for retrial after the long jail sentence was pronounced.
Magistrate Nago had found them guilty of stealing an ox belonging to Vongai Munesani of Village 21A, Chief Ziki and two female donkeys belonging to Rueben Nhakaniso of Ziki village in the same area.
It was the State's case that in the evening of January 06, 2018 Munesani penned her cattle but during the night, Kamutse and Taengerwei, accompanied by a 13-year-old minor, sneaked in and stole an ox valued at US$950.
On count two, the State convinced the court that Kamutse and Taengerwei drove away Nhekaniso's two donkeys to Village 1 Mkwazi, Chiredzi, where they sold the animals to one Chrispen Magochera. The value of the stolen donkeys was put at US$300.
On passing judgement, Nago said the court had no option as matters of stock theft called for a mandatory minimum sentence of nine years.
She said the accused had both failed to give convincing circumstances in mitigation.
The minor who was implicated in the case pleaded not guilty and Nago ruled that the case will proceed separately.
Japhet Mapakame prosecuted.local