Botswana: Soldiers Help Fight Rustling In Bobirwa

bostwana_soldiersSELEBI-PHIKWE: The deployment of Botswana soldiers along the border with Zimbabwe has reduced cattle smuggling in Bobirwa, Semolale Police Station commander Oeme Tangane has said.

He explained that the situation is far from ideal because the improvement has been very slight. Tangane said that though the much anticipated change for the better, has not been achieved, there are indications that they are getting on top of the problem. He attributed the improvement to the input of the soldiers.

He said even the community plays a major part in protecting livestock as evidenced by their help solders to recover stolen animals.

After Vice President Mompati Merafhe addressed meetings in the villages of Gobojango, Semolale and Mabolwe last month, 39 donkeys were stolen but through the help of the Botswana soldiers, the animals were recovered and given back to their owners.

Tangane said they have traced about 26 donkeys stolen in Botswana as late as last week to Zimbabwe. “I can confirm that they have crossed to Zimbabwe and we have handed the case to the Zimbabwe law enforcement authorities,” he said.

During his recent visit to Bobirwa, Merafhe indicated to the distraught residents that the government has intensified patrols along the border.

He said they have increased BDF camps along the border to reduce the lengths of patrols and assured residents that they will soon lead a normal lifestyle.

He explained that the livestock recovered from Zimbabwe cannot be brought back to Botswana for fear of an outbreak of diseases. Recovered livestock are burnt.

He explained that the P400 compensation for destroyed livestock should not be considered as payment.

He urged residents to appreciate that livestock that crosses to Zimbabwe is equivalent to those that go astray therefore they cannot be paid for.

“Otherwise some of you would deliberately drive animals to the border and claim huge amounts of money from government.”

Residents have for a long time been calling on the government to speed up the opening of Mmamabaka border post to facilitate their movement to Zimbabwe to look for their cattle. They have suggested that the Zimbabwean government should also deploy solders along the border.

Some have been pursuing their cases in Zimbabwe since 2007 and because of the slow pace of trials, they are forced to hire herd boys in Zimbabwe and pay them monthly.

Mmegi Online

Post published in: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *