By Alick Junior Sichali
A 32-year-old man in Chikwawa has been ordered to spend the next 20 months in prison for stealing a cow valued at K150,000.
Chikwawa Police Spokesperson, Foster Benjamin, confirmed this in an interview with Maravi Post and identified the man as Alfred Matchado.
Benjamin said the district’s first grade magistrate’s court on Tuesday found Matchado guilty of the crime which is contrary to Section 281 of the Penal code.
The court, through State Prosecutor Danford Otala, heard that Matchado, on 4 May this year at Kanthema Village under Traditional Authority(T/A) Kasisi in the district, found a stray cow which belonged to Esther Manduwapera of the same area.
“Since he could not be able to herd it properly, the accused decided to hire herdboy Bowa Patrick who managed to drive it to Dyeratu Trading Centre for sale,” explained Otala.
During trial, Matchado denied any wrongdoing, subsequently finding himself with a case to answer following a 5-man witness that the state had unleashed on him.
According to Benjamin the state pleaded for a stiffer sentence arguing theft of cattle were on the rise in the Lower Shire district.
In his ruling, Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu concurred with the state and further bemoaned the increase of cattle rustling, saying the scenario retards development among cattle farmers.
The magistrate however convicted and sentenced Matchado to 20 months imprisonment with hard labour to deter other would-be offenders.
Alfred Matchado hails from Nedi Village in the area of T/A Katunga in Chikwawa District.