War Veteran Sentenced To 6 Years for Obeying Robert Mugabe’s Orders
6 January 2022
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By A Correspondent | A War veteran commander, Dzingai Nevhunjere, who troubled commercial farmers in Mazowe district during the late President Robert Mugabe’s commandeered 2002 land reform program, has been slapped with a six-year jail term for stealing a herd of cattle.

Nevhunjere, 64, was caged after a full trial by Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba.

He escaped the nine year mandatory sentence for stock theft after the magistrate considered that when be committed the offence, common law was still in place.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivers his speech during a live broadcast at State House in Harare, Sunday, Nov, 19, 2017. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has baffled the country by ending his address on national television without announcing his resignation. (AP Photo)

The war veteran will also serve five years effective after one year of his sentence was set aside on conditions of good behavior.

Nevhunjere was found guilty of stealing a herd of 16 cattle from farmer Thomas Charles Bayley back in 2002.

Bayley was the owner of Danburry Park Farm in Marlborough, Harare.

The National Prosecuting Authority proved that Nevhunjere and some youths invaded the farm on April 13, 2002 and prevented Bayley from entering it.

They barricaded the entrance using poles and drums, and then forced Baylely’s family out of the farm, which had 977 cattle and 210 calves. Nevhunjere took custody of all the cattle.

On April 5 and 7, 2002, Nevhunjere then drove 20 cattle to his Omeath Farm in Mvurwi.

Sixteen beasts were recovered from him on November 13, 2003 after the complainant identified them.

The court also heard that on several occasions, the war veteran would order his youths to slaughter cows for meat.

When Bayley was finally allowed to enter his farm on July 13, 2002, he collected 1 042 cattle, and discovered that 145 beasts were missing.

On February 5, 2005 police recovered six beasts from Nevhunjere.

In passing sentence the magistrate said she will also consider that Nevhunjere is now an old family man.

She also considered the circumstances circumstances around the commission of the offence.

She said the Nevhunjere was a first offender as such deserved liniency.

“When the accused committed the offence, it was because he wanted to implement what he fought for (as a war veteran). But this did not go well because you end up taking someone’s cattle, ” said the magistrate.

She added, Moral blameworthiness is high because he was a commander and took advantage of your authority by stealing and distorting the agrarian reform.”

“You planned to steal because you sent the cattle to your farm in Mvurwi. You did not assist in recovery of the cattle. You tried to fight against the offence. You are luck that at the time it was not 9 years mandatory as this time. The court shall not impose that 9 years mandatory but will use the common law,” Mashamba ruled.