By Peter Matambanadzo
Police have closed 122 butcheries and 102 food outlets countrywide for operating without licences and arrested 1 355 for stock theft and related issues as "Operation Nyama yabvepi" intensifies. The operation was launched Monday last week and is meant to curb cattle rustling and to weed out unlicensed butcheries and food outlets. In the process, police have recovered a total of 117 cattle, 155 donkeys and 33 goats and raised over US$22 000 in revenue from fines.
National Anti-Stock Theft Unit co-ordinator Senior Assistant Commissioner Bernard Dumbura yesterday said the operation has intensified and the police would continue to arrest owners of unlicensed butcheries and food outlets.
"All the 1 355 suspects were arrested for stock theft related issues while 27 were nabbed for stock theft," he said.
"The butcheries and food outlets were closed for breaching provisions of the law such as licensing provisions, employees operating without medical certificates and selling meat not inspected."
Last week police closed 58 butcheries and 66 food outlets for operating without licences and arrested 485 people for stock theft-related cases. They also recovered 101 cattle and 116 donkeys. This is the 12th operation the Anti Stock Theft Unit has conducted in the past two years.