Friday 15 March 2024


A well-known cattle farmer from Bulawayo has been accused of purchasing stolen cattle at reduced prices from various syndicates located on the city’s outskirts.

The  owner of  Douglasdale Feedlot and Nyama4U Blue Bulls Butchery, Richard Draege, is now facing accusations of collusion with rustlers after police found 20 reported stolen cattle at his feedlot.

Farmers from Inyathi identified some of their missing cattle at Draege’s property, and Bulawayo police have expressed concerns about cattle rustling, stressing its detrimental impact on the nation’s livestock population.

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson,  Inspector Abednico Ncube, told journalists that Draege is aware of the legitimate paperwork involved in the trade of cattle, but continues to purchase stolen beasts.

He  said the police were intensifying efforts to eradicate cattle rustling networks.

“These cattle were discovered by police following a tip off by farmers, who spotted a truck loaded with cattle driving to this feedlot owned by Mr Richard Draege.

“What  is disturbing is that we have had engagements with Mr Draege concerning the sale and buying of stolen cattle yet he continues to do so.

“He  is  aware of the procedure and knows the legitimate paperwork involved in the trade of cattle. In this case there are just pieces of handwritten letters from bogus individuals, who are on the run, authorising the sale of these cattle.

“He  is defiant and we are looking into engaging him to find out how he received this stolen stock,” said Insp Ncube.

He said feedlots have been identified as major drivers of stock theft by the police.

“We  have scaled up our operations and are not tiring anytime soon. Bulawayo is a step ahead in fighting stock theft. We have been and are holding engagements with farmers and villagers dotted on the outskirts of the city.

“So far we have closed the gap by cordoning  routes used by rustlers to enter the city without detection.

“Now our biggest enemies are owners of feedlots, whom we have engaged on several occasions about this, but they still ignore the law. There  are procedures they are meant to follow before buying cattle, but they continuously ignore these,” said Insp Ncube.

Draege has not yet commented on the matter as he was said to be away on holiday in Victoria Falls.

Insp Ncube said sustained awareness campaigns by Bulawayo police and close cooperation by farmers around the city have led to the  recovery of cattle stolen from the outskirts of the city.

He said the recovered cattle were stolen from Inyathi and Mbembesi areas.

“This was a result of ongoing crime awareness campaigns by a Bulawayo  Provincial Anti-Stock Theft team where farmers surrounding Bulawayo are engaged to close routes used by thieves into the city. The cattle are on a farm in Matopo,” said Insp Ncube.

He said three suspects are still on the run in connection with the case.

The  late Vice President John Landa Nkomo’s son, Jabulani Nkomo, recently revealed that he lost a herd of 42 cattle at his Umguza Plot over a period of four months from August to December last year.

Police have since identified Nkomo’s employee, Tatenda Chimombe, who is on the run, as the chief suspect in the case.

In January, Bulawayo police arrested two men from Emganwini Suburb in Bulawayo for rustling a herd of 19 cattle. Chronicle


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