Omuthiya-Due to the high number of stolen cattle being slaughtered and sold at Omuthiya over the past years, the headman of Omuthiya sub-district, Vaapo Sheepo, took it upon himself to establish a registration process to verify the ownership of all cattle to be butchered.
“Before, we used to experience cases of stolen cattle that used to be slaughtered and sold in Omuthiya and that was becoming too much, as no one was controlling the system, nor was there a set process to follow before one can slaughter. Hence, this loophole was exploited by criminals.
“That is why I, as the headman, decided that in order to end these practices one has to register and pay a fee of N$20 to secure a date, while giving us ample time to verify from the veterinary offices through the number on the ear tags and the village headman, whether the cattle truly belonged to the seller,” Sheepo explained.
He was responding to allegations from the community, who claimed the process was tainted with corrupt practices, as he (Sheepo) apparently took bribes to give certain clients a more favourable date, such as slaughtering on pay-days, or granting a earlier date to family and friends, hence holding up those who were higher on the list.
Residents further claimed their cattle were normally held up for weeks at the butchery area, which does not have enough grazing, while they wait for a slaughter date, something which they said caused their cattle to lose weight, thus reducing the anticipated income.
“I normally request the sellers to leave their cellphone numbers and then I notify them when their date comes. The period depends on the number of people who had registered the preceding month, which always affects those registered in the succeeding month. Hence first-come, first-served.
“But now you find some people that do not understand such processes and only want to push things, it doesn’t work like that,” Sheepo stressed.
“I do not receive bribes, nor do I favour anyone. I often chase away those that try to offer me bribes,” he stated.
He further explained that they only allow two cattle to be slaughtered in a day, whereas in the past everyone would slaughter and sell on the same day, a practice that resulted in an oversupply of meat.
“We wanted to protect the market, so that those that sell can have a fair chance to sell until their meat is finished. Not like before whereby the market was oversupplied, leaving most sellers stranded with their meat, because no one is buying or they too had also slaughtered.
So, those that are spreading such issues are the ones who like pushing dates for their own benefit,” concluded Sheepo, who said the established procedure will remain in place.