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A Mbembesi businessman who allegedly stole 31 cattle from fellow villagers has told a court that he was “keeping the animals safe for their owners.”

Luckson Sibanda (65), allegedly sold one of the cattle that he is suspected to have stolen from a neighbour’s kraal to his in-laws.

Sibanda has two previous convictions, with one being for stock theft.

He pleaded not guilty to stock theft when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Sibongile Msipa- Marondedze last Friday and was remanded to June 2 on $200 bail.

Sibanda told the court that he was being framed by villagers jealous of his success.

“Your Worship, I’ve been accused of stock theft before, but l won the case because the beast belonged to me,” he said.

When Sibanda was asked why 31 cattle belonging to other people were found in his possession, he said the owners failed to take proper care of them.

He said he had been taking care of the 31 cattle on behalf of their owners, as per village tradition.

When Sibanda was interviewed he admitted to have stolen the cattle.

Source : The Herald