The bilateral cooperation that exists between the Namibian and Zambian police yielded positive results after eight cows that were stolen last week in the Sikaunga area of the Kongola constituency were recovered from Zambia.
The cattle, which were found being rustled in the Sinjembela area of Zambia some 70 kilometres from Kamenga border post at Singalamwe, were impounded by a community police group in that country, who then alerted the authorities before the Namibian police were informed.
Three Zambian nationals were spotted with the cattle that had Namibian eartags. When confronted one was arrested, while the other two fled and have not yet been arrested.
According to the owner of the cattle, Boniface Subulwa – who had missed but had not suspected his cattle were stolen until he was called by the police to go and identify the animals – he employed a Zambian national to look after his livestock but the man disappeared after a month.
“I employed a cattle herder in September and he worked for only one month and went missing after receiving his salary. The cattle were stolen on the 9th of October and I did not report the case to the police, because I was not sure whether they were really stolen or just missing. I understand he (the cattle herder) is one of the suspects,” said Subulwa.
Both the Namibian and Zambian police could not confirm whether the concerned cattle herder is one of the cattle rustlers, or the suspect detained at the Sesheke police station in Zambia. The suspect has been identified as Kutulo Kumwala.
Regional spokesperson of the police Sergeant Kisco Sitali cautioned farmers against employing cattle herders with no identification documents and urged them to report any suspicions without delay.
“We advise farmers to employ cattle herders with identification documents, to regularly take stock of their livestock and to report any cases of missing livestock, or theft immediately rather than following tracks, as some cattle rustlers could be armed,” advised Sitali.
Even though the police could not provide statistics of cattle theft cases this year by the time of going to print, cattle rustling is believed to have surged in the region. Just over two weeks ago some cattle were recovered in Zambia and handed over to their Namibian owners at the Wenela border post on the outskirts of Katima Mulilo.