MWENEZI - Obert Johane (61) of village one Sosonye under Chief Maranda was recently convicted for stock theft after he sold an unregistered stray heifer which he had been looking after at his homestead.
Johane pleaded not guilty to the charge but was convicted and was sentenced to nine years behind bars by magistrate Honest Musiiwa who strongly warned the public against stock theft, saying the offence carried a mandatory nine year jail sentence.
Despite the evidence of two key State witnesses Johane insisted that he was absent when Thulani Siziba, the buyer of the heifer, came to drive it away.
He claimed that Siziba had driven the wrong heifer which he had registered with the police as stolen cattle.
Siziba, however, pointed out that the very day he collected the said stray heifer, Johane was present and he was the one who helped him to tie it up.
The investigating officer Nonsikelelo Ndlovu presented evidence that in 2016, Johane registered a stray cow to the police but did not register its calf which he later sold to Siziba.
Prosecutor Willard Chasi said some time is 2016, a cow and its calf strayed into Johane's homestead but he only registered the cow with the police, leaving the calf.
Sometime in October 2017 when the unregistered calf had grown into a heifer, Johane sold it to Siziba for US$300.
A few days after collecting the heifer, Siziba was tipped that he had bought a stray cattle. He then decided to return the heifer, with the village head witnessing the transaction.
A police report was later made leading to Johane's arrest.crime