Lovemore Kadzura Rusape Correspondent
A RUSAPE woman, together with her herdsmen were arrested for allegedly ill-treating her 46 herd of cattle.
Chido Matewa (51) of Dagbreek Farm, Nyazura and her two employees, Jimmy Sufuhama (46) and Tonderai Ngwaru (21) who are represented by prominent Rusape lawyer, Mr Maxwell Chiwanza of Chiwanza and Partners pleaded not guilty when they appeared before magistrate, Ms Patience Ururu Madondo.
The trio are charged with the crime of cruelty to animals as defined in Section 3 (I) (a) (d) and (g) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Chapter 19.09.
Mr Noel Usore from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is the complainant and the State’s key witness.
Public prosecutor, Mr Tafara Chawatama, told the court that Matewa and her two employees starved the cattle of feed and also kept them in the pen for long hours. He also alleged that four cattle died due to deliberate starvation by the trio.
“During the period extending from August 2016 to November 2016, Matewa who is based in Harare employed Sufuhama and Ngwaru to look after her 46 herd of cattle. Matewa rarely visited the farm to check on her cattle. Sufuhama and Ngwaru often confined the cattle in the pen while looking for other missing cattle.
“Matewa failed to care, supervise and to provide food and water for the cattle at her farm. The offence came to light through a tip-off to SPCA Mutare. SPCA officials, veterinary inspectors and police reacted to the report and found Sufuhama and Ngwaru still penning the cattle by 12.30pm and in such a physical condition that they lack adequate feeding. One decomposing cattle was still in the pen.
“Sufuhama and Ngwaru dumped four carcasses of cattle behind tobacco barns and left them to decompose on the instructions of Matewa who allegedly wanted to see the carcasses. Two cattle were lying down about 60 meters and 6km from the cattle pen unable to stand on their own.
“On November 30, 2016, Dr Kapondo, a veterinary surgeon inspected the cattle and concluded that they were being starved of food and recommended that one cow be euthanised as it was cruel to keep it alive. One cow which was about 6km away had died the previous night and Dr Kapondo took samples for examinations and concluded that the cow died due to heart water disease.
“The medical report and photographs can be produced in court as exhibits. The value of the cattle including the dead is $1 500,” said Mr Chawatama.
Trial was continuing at the time of going to Press.