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Botswana president blames Zim

by Staff Reporter
16 Jun 2014 at 07:21hrs | Views
BOTSWANA President Ian Khama has blamed the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in his country on Zimbabwe saying Harare has failed to meet its part of the bargain in compensating affected farmers.

Botswana's Daily News online reported that Khama made the remarks while addressing a meeting at Robelela in the Mmadinare constituency on Thursday last week.

Khama said his government was doing everything in its power to assist affected farmers.

He, however, said not all dead cattle would be replaced as investigations would be carried out to decide which ones to replace.

Khama said cattle in the area were killed to control the spread of FMD while others just died because they had not adapted to the new environment.

Khama said his government was spending a lot of money in trying to control FMD and blamed Zimbabwe for not servicing its part of the bargain.

"Although most of the viruses came from Zimbabwe, the two countries had agreed to share the costs. However, at the moment Zimbabwe does not have money to pay their share and this has ben a problem to Botswana," he said.

Botswana is reportedly struggling to recover P1 million from Zimbabwe's Cold Storage Company (CSC) for the supply of cattle under a 2011 agreement.

Botswana and Zimbabwe signed a memorandum of understanding in July 2011 under which close to 30 000 cattle from the neighbouring country's FMD-infested zones were to be imported for direct slaughter at CSC abattoirs in Bulawayo.

The two countries agreed that some of the cattle were suitable for consumption.

But the Botswana government decided to stop trading with Zimbabwe after CSC failed to honour its side of the deal to remit 60% of the income gained from meat sales. Under the agreement, 20 000 cattle from Ngamiland were to be exported to Bulawayo.

Source - Southern Eye
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