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Donkey thefts up, abattoir blamed

by Staff reporter
23 Oct 2017 at 06:12hrs | Views
SILOBELA and Zhombe villagers are living in fear of having their donkeys wiped out by thieves who are allegedly stocking up in anticipation of the opening of the $150 000 state-of-the-art donkey meat abattoir in Bulawayo.

Bulawayo-based company Battlefront Investments has started building a donkey meat abattoir that will have capacity to dress more than 70 animals daily. The development has allegedly seen a surge in theft of donkeys in Silobela and Zhombe areas.

Addressing the then Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa, farmers, senior Government officials and party members at ARDA Fair Acres Estate in Zhombe on Thursday last week, Chief Malisa of Silobela said villagers were angry as they were losing their draught power.

He said ever since talk of the opening of the donkey abattoir in Bulawayo started, villagers lost several donkeys to thieves.

"Acting President Mnangagwa, I stand here representing the villagers in Silobela and Zhombe," said Chief Malisa. "We are very angry because every day we wake up finding our donkeys missing. Ever since they started talking about opening a donkey abattoir in Bulawayo, there has been an increase in theft of our donkeys in our area. We are afraid our donkeys are being taken to Bulawayo by these thieves. To date, we have lost a good number of donkeys and we are afraid if the trend goes on, we will be left with no draught power. Remember, we use the donkeys as draught power and how will we do our farming."

Chief Malisa called on the police to intensify patrols in the affected areas to curb donkey theft.

Zanu-PF Midlands provincial chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said theft of donkeys was a perennial problem affecting Silobela and Zhombe villagers.

"Villagers in Silobela and Zhombe face this perennial problem of losing donkeys to thieves," he said. "Some donkeys are sold as far as Gokwe, while others are taken to Nkayi. So, I don't think the increase in theft is because of the new donkey abattoir. Even if you call the police, they will tell you that year in year out, donkeys are always stolen in that part of the country."

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Source - the herald