A Plumtree man has been arrested for allegedly stealing 22 head of cattle.
A court heard that Liberty Mhlanga (36) of Plumtree was allegedly apprehended by a mob of villagers at midnight herding the beasts after a failed attempt to fight them.
Bulawayo magistrate Adelaide Mbeure remanded Mhlanga out of custody to 12 June 2018 on $200 bail for a stock theft charge.
Mhlanga, who seemed close to tears and was constantly rubbing his eyes, pleaded not guilty.
“Your Worship I didn’t steal any cattle. I was merely passing through the area coming from buying goods for reselling when the villagers started accusing me of stealing. I don’t know anything about the alleged cattle. My eyes are sore too, and I need medical attention,” he said.
She said he will appear at Plumtree Magistrate court.
The State granted Mhlanga bail on conditions that he reports at Madlambudzi police station every day twice and that he surrenders all his travelling documents since he is in the habit of frequenting leaving the country for buying and selling various goods.
Prosecuting Maclean Ndlovu told the court that on May 30 at night Mhlanga was seen heading 22 beasts at Mbimba area.
“On 30 May 2018 at around 11 PM, the accused was seen heading 22 head of cattle. He was followed from Bhambadzi area and was caught at Mbimba village by a mob of villagers,” said Ndlovu.
He added “Accused person tried to fight off the villagers who had pursued him. They overpowered him and took him to the police where he was arrested.”