MWENEZI - Greatman Macheke (19), who resides at Quagapan Village Two under Chief Maranda and is currently doing form three at Mufakose High School in Triangle, was last week arraigned before the Mwenezi Magistrates' Court facing charges of stock theft.
Macheke, who is out of custody on bail, pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before magistrate Honest Musiiwa.
Macheke said he was merely phoned by one Peacemaker Macheke to come with a scotch cart to ferry some game meat and did not suspect it was actually beef.
The complainant, Jonathan Hungwe, however, rubbished Macheke's defence insisting the young man was part of a syndicate which has stolen many heifers at his farm.
Argued by prosecutor Angelinah Makonya, the State's case was that on May 2 at around 03:00 hrs, Macheke went to hunt at subdivision 3 Alko Ranch in the company of Peacemaker Macheke, who was already convicted of the offence and Tasiyana Chifaso who is still at large.
After failing to catch anything, the accused came across a heifer belonging to Hungwe and they allegedly killed it using an axe. The three were seen by a passer-by as they skinned the heifer. The eye witnesses then alerted Hungwe who immediately notified the police, leading to the arrest of the accused.
The stolen heifer was valued at US$400 and the meat that was recovered from the nearby field is worth US$150.
The matter was postponed to a later date for continuation of trial.
If one is convicted of stock theft, he/she faces a mandatory sentence of nine years imprisonment for each beast stolen.crime