A court in Chikwawa district has sentenced a notorious cattle stealer to five years imprisonment after being convicted for stealing 15 herds of cattle.
Chikwawa police public relations officer, Foster Benjamin has identified the convict as Mike Sintidu who was sentenced on last Friday along side heard boy Heston Mphonde.
Mphonde was slapped with 4 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Police Prosecutor, Constable Emmanuel Namarwa, told the court that the second convict, Mphonde, was employed by four cattle owners as their herd boy.
On 21 May, he went out grazing within Watson Village in the area of Senior Chief Chapananga in the district.
“Eventually, he connived with Sintidu, selling him all the herds and lied that he had lost the cattle while herding,” explained Namarwa in court.
The owners, however, got tipped off by some well-wisher and confronted the butcher-cum-rus
“Sintidu confessed to have sold some herds to a Mulanje based butcher on that previous night.
Still determined, the cattle farmers called the said butcher and he denied any knowledge, further instructing them to find out from another butcher in Blantyre named Ken,” added the prosecutor.
A search for the purported butcher led to the discovery of one stray bull within the bushes of Soche hills.
On return, they reported the issue to Chikwawa Police Station, leading to the arrest of Sintidu and Mphonde.
They were charged with theft of cattle, contrary to Section 281 of the Penal code but both denied the charge.
The state paraded 6 witnesses against the first convict and 4 against the second.
Prosecutor Namarwa prayed to the court to mete out harsh sentences to the two considering that theft of livestock cases were on the rise in the district.
First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu, while concurring with the state, said that the accused had seriously impoverished the complainants, hence deserving stiff penalties.
He convicted and sentenced Sintidu, 24, to 5 years, and Mphonde, 22, to 4 years in jail to serve as a warning to others.
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