The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police says it remains committed towards tackling rampant cross-border cattle rustling along the Zimbabwe-Botswana border with a number of measures put in place already yielding positive results.
Concerns were raised early this year during the third session of the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) where it emerged that theft of livestock was a growing challenge for farmers along the Zimbabwe-Botswana border. A six-member inter-ministerial committee Chaired by Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe was set up by President Mnangagwa to find a lasting solution to the problem.
While a number of measures were proposed to be implemented during the inter-ministerial visit in April to Mlambaphele in Gwanda, one of the stock theft hotspots, the police say significant strides have been made to tackle the rampant cross-border cattle rustling.
In an interview with Sunday News, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi spelt out some of the measures that the service has implemented to tackle stocktheft.
“There has been progress with regards to the rampant cross-border rustling. The police have set up bases which are now on the ground. We are not only there to safeguard the areas, but we are raising awareness and campaigns to promote branding of livestock. We are working with crime consultative committees as we monitor suspects.”
Matabeleland South has recorded high cases of stocktheft with areas like Tshanyaugwe, Nhwali, Mlambaphele, Guyu, Manama, Mankonkoni, Rustlers Gorge and Ngoma being identified among the hotspots for cattle rustlers. Lately Matobo, Mangwe and Bulilima areas have also recorded a rise in stock theft cases.
Asst Comm Nyathi said they had heightened simultaneous joint operations between security agencies from the two countries to combat the scourge of stocktheft along the borderline.
“We have been conducting joint operations with counterparts from the security sector which have seen us exchanging notes to ensure we curb the cross-border stocktheft. There is a sub-technical committee on the ground that is evaluating the progress made so far,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.