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Umzingwane livestock clearance process irks villagers

by Staff reporter
07 Apr 2022 at 01:36hrs | Views
VILLAGERS in the Nswazi area in Umzingwane District, Matabeleland South province have bemoaned the livestock clearance process which they say is cumbersome and creates a window for corruption.

The village has one police base which is manned by two police officers whom villagers say are regularly overwhelmed by different cases.

Villagers sometimes have to wait for hours before they can be attended to.

According to the law, one cannot move or sell livestock without police clearance.

One of the villagers, Ms Ntandoyenkosi Ncube said she recently had to wait for seven hours before a police officer could clear her cattle.

"We wanted to slaughter a beast for family consumption but before we could do this, we needed police clearance. It took us about seven hours before someone from the local police base could attend to us. We were told that one of the police officers was out of town and the other one had gone to attend to another villager who needed police clearance for their cattle so we had no choice but to wait," said Ms Ncube.

She said as a result of the unavailability of the police officers, villagers sometimes had to go as far as the police base in Esigodini to get assistance.

Another villager, Mr Richard Mafu said fellow villagers were now offering police officers money in order for their cases to be attended to faster.

"This is now making our police officers corrupt. We appreciate the importance of clearing livestock but the service must be made easily accessible," said Mr Mafu.

Meanwhile, police are continuously unearthing cattle rustling syndicates and unscrupulous business people who are buying cattle in rural areas and selling meat which is unfit for human consumption. Investigations reveal that the syndicates are stealing cattle for slaughter while some business people are buying beasts without following laid down procedures.

The law says that people should have a police clearance, a cattle movement permit from the Veterinary department, a certificate of health and documents which show that the beast was slaughtered in a registered abattoir.

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said law enforcers were working closely with chiefs to fight against crime.

"As police in Matabeleland South, we work closely with chiefs and other traditional leaders in the fight against crime. Stock theft is rampant in the province and we urge communities to be wary of getting into shoddy deals with unscrupulous business people as they risk losing out on their livestock and money. Members of the public should engage us in the sale of livestock to curb stock theft as well as for protection from conmen. Visit your nearest police station for guidance," said Insp Mangena.

Source - The Chronicle