A 30-year-old man in Chikwawa has been handed 18 and 12 months prison sentences for the two counts of cattle rustling.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Chikwawa Police Station Public Relations Officer, Constable Foster Benjamin has identified the convict as Samuel Zambasa who was found guilty on Wednesday before First Grade Magistrate’s Court.
Police Prosecutor, Sergeant George Hussein, told the court that the rustler went away with three herds of cattle valued at K700,000.
“On September 26 this year, Zambasa followed up on a certain herdboy into the bushes of Tambo close to Chapananga road.
“While lying in ambush, he pounced on three herds of stray cattle belonging to two different farmers,” the prosecutor told the court.
After that, the herdboy alerted a community policing team who launched a manhunt for Zambasa following the herdboy’s suspicion on him.
Zambasa was later found with three herds (of cattle) and was immediately apprehended and handed over to the police.
He was charged with theft of cattle, a charge he denied.
The state had to parade 5 witnesses and Zambasa was subsequently found with a case to answer.
The state argued that theft of livestock was high in Chikwawa hence the need to slap the accused with stiffer penalty.
In his sentence, First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu concurred with the state that rustling had been on the increase in the district, saying the accused deserved a harsh sentence to deter others.
He then convicted and sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment for the first count and 12 months for the second count which are all to run concurrently.
Zambasa hails from Supuni Village in the area of Traditional Authority Katunga in Chikwawa District.