The police reportedly demand fuel from complainants who want their livestock tracked down, while in some instances they have ordered those affected to bring their suspects.
“The police are not doing enough to curb cattle rustling; we are now being forced to dig deep into our pockets to help police track down cattle rustlers. At one time I went to Guyu to make a report and was told to bring suspects up to now seven of my cattle are still missing,” said Lerato Moyo of Ntepe.
Matabeleland South Police Spokesman Inspector Tafanana Dzirutwe conceded there was a shortage of vehicles but said this has not stopped them from doing their work.
“The shortage of vehicles is not a problem for Mat South alone; it is a nationwide problem,” he said.
The police have also come under fire for overseeing auctions for branded stray cattle without bothering to track down the owners.
In 2011 of the 1 273 cattle that were reported stolen only 600 were recovered while 60 cattle rustlers were convicted out of the 266 that were arrested.