Officials Threatened over Animals

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By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI The Ongwediva Town Council has laid criminal charges against villagers who are against a law that allows the confiscation of animals and who have threatened to beat up officials. The Town Council’s public relation officer Andreas Uutoni confirmed that officials entrusted with the responsibility to remove animals from the town boundary are regularly subjected to threats of physical harm and witchcraft by the owners of stray animals being kept at the municipal kraal at Onawa village. “I can confirm that we opened criminal cases against some residents of Elyambala who are more vocal in threatening our officials,” said Uutoni. He cautioned the villagers to desist from intimidating his officials saying the impounding system is in full swing and there is no going back regarding its implementation. So far, said Uutoni, there are more than 300 animals including donkeys, goats and cattle which the local authority has impounded. Uutoni expressed dismay at the behaviour of some the villagers who were properly consulted and pledged to cooperate only to make a U-turn at the last minute when the system was being enforced. Eight people have so far been employed to clear the town of all stray animals. “When we were consulting them, some of the villagers requested that officials removing animals from the town should come from their respective villages. This is what we have done but still they do not want to cooperate.” He noted that the town council has adopted an open-door policy, which is there to help all the residents who have grievances including those with stray animals found within the town boundary.