By Catherine Sasman
Cattle owners from the Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions have received back their livestock after they were impounded by the Namibian police.
The cattle numbering 444 were impounded on a homeward bound journey from across the Angolan border.
Police stopped cattle herders on March 16 at Olupale village as the cattle were being driven back into the country after they were taken across the border to Angola where they had been grazing for months.
The cattle were impounded by the Angolan police on suspicion of cross-border theft.
According to the Ohangwena crime investigation coordinator, Chief Inspector Abner Agas, the cattle herders did not have the required documentation as proof of ownership.
From the initial investigation, it was also not clear if the herders may have inadvertently taken in free-grazing cattle io their southward trek.
Angolan authorities insist that cattle owners should have brand marks as identification.
The cattle were held in a thorn-fence encampment at Ondjiva in Angola, and on March 19 both Namibian and Angolan authorities went to assess the situation.
On Tuesday this week, police from Eenhana again crossed the border with the cattle owners with the required brand marks to claim back their cattle.
“The owners got back all their animals,” said Agas.
It is common practice accepted by headmen and governments for cattle farmers to move their animals across the border to access grazing and water.
“But we need to get the message across to the people, that if they do take their cattle across the border, they need the right documentation from headmen in both countries,” stressed Agas.