Katima Mulilo-A herd of eight cattle that were stolen two weeks ago from Kaliyangile village in the Zambezi Region was recovered a week ago at Ngweze in Zambia.
The owner of the cattle, Mulelela Chimpompa, said the cattle got lost after the cattleherder released them in the afternoon for grazing. However, the herder – a Zambian national – only realised eight cattle were missing after he went back to the pasture in the evening to herd them back to their kraal.
Speaking during the handover of the recovered cattle to their owner at Wenela Border post, Regional Commander Commissioner Karel Theron said the Namibian police and the Zambian counterparts managed to recover the cattle.
Stock theft in the region is said to be rife and, according to Theron, the main contributing factor is the fact that farmers in the region do not recruit Namibian cattle herders, but employ foreigners from Zambia and Angola. In this way they create a loophole for criminals to collaborate with cattle herders to come and steal cattle and goats in Namibia.
“Sometimes we are not that lucky to recover the stolen animals, because they are driven deep into Zambia. This time we are very happy that our counterparts in Zambia showed us that the cooperation between the two countries is very good,” Theron said.
Equally important, the regional commander urged farmers to employ Namibians. “I would like to humbly request our farmers to recruit Namibians instead of foreigners to avoid this type of instances,” Theron cautioned and urged farmers to take necessary measures to prevent stock theft.
“We can advise them what to do, but if they do not implement it these type of incidents will continue. Farmers should keep counting their animals on a daily basis and also report the missing ones to the police on time,” said Theron.
Chimpompa in turn said he was not happy, as this was the third time that cattle had been stolen and on previous occasions he was unable to recover his animals.
His son, Lameck Mubano, expressed gratitude during the handing over of the cattle. “I am very happy that we got our cattle back. I therefore would like to thank the Namibian and Zambian police for their cooperation and I hope that the two countries continue to work together.”
Mubano appealed to farmers to brand their animals for easy identification, saying: “Farmers without brand marks should apply for them as a matter of urgency. It was easy for our animals to be recovered, as some had brand marks.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Warrant Officer Kisco Sitali urged Namibian farmers to employ people with identity documents, as in many cases farmers employ any person without verifying their identity documents, thereby making it easier for herders to commit stock theft or other related crimes.
* Hilma Nakanduungile is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication technology, based in the Zambezi Region.