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Former Zimbabwe Minister Arrested Over Stock Theft, Freed On $50,000 Bail

Former state security minister Nicholas Goche was freed on Z$50,000 bail on Thursday after he was charged with stock theft.

Goche appeared at the Bindura Magistrates Court following his arrest on Wednesday.

Prosecutors accused Goche of the theft of 22 cattle which had been bought from his farm in 2018.

His lawyers insisted the dispute was a civil matter.

It was alleged the former minister sold 40 steers worth US$35,600 to one Honest Mupanedengu of Series Farm in Shamva.

Mupanedengu took 22 for slaughter, and wanted to move the remaining 18 to a farm in Chiredzi, which was not possible due to a foot and mouth disease outbreak.

It was alleged that when Mupanedengu finally received clearance to move his 18 steers worth US$18,000, he discovered Goche had sold them. Mupanedengu called the police.

Goche’s lawyers said the dispute was civil and should not have been taken to court as a criminal matter.

Political allies of Goche say he has been targeted to stop his supporters from occupying powerful positions during the ongoing Zanu-PF District Coordinating Committee elections which are causing tumult in the ruling party.

Goche fell out of favour with the late former president Robert Mugabe in 2014, accused of being a member of a faction led by then vice president Joice Mujuru which was angling to seize power.

He has been on the political peripheries since then, although he remains a powerful political figure in Mashonaland Central, able to influence events in Zanu-PF.

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