Freeman Razemba in Chiredzi
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has said it is putting adequate security measures to curb cases of cattle smuggling along the country’s borders. This follows a meeting of the 8th Session of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security.
Zimbabwe and Mozambique have since agreed that all people living close to national borders brand their cattle by the end of next year.
A team of senior officers led by the National Anti-Stock Theft Unit Assistant Commissioner (administration) Jimmy Khumalo, is visiting some of the areas along the country’s borders.
In an interview, Asst Comm Khumalo said the visits were meant to sensitise the police and communities in the affected areas on the need to brand their cattle.
“The visit is in partial fulfilment of the agreement arising from the resolutions that were made between Zimbabwe and Mozambique,” he said.
“All we are saying is that all the cattle within 50 kilometres from the borders should be branded with personal brand marks for easy identification and traceability.”
Smuggling of cattle has become rampant along the borders.
Officer commanding Chiredzi District, Chief Superintendent Amon Ndou said there were 174 698 cattle in the district.
“Most of them (farmers) feel like it is a ZRP programme, yet it is for their benefit,” he said. “Out of the 174 698, only 12 752 cattle have been branded with personal brands. Five hundred farmers have also applied for personal brands so far and 357 have managed to acquire brand certificates and brand tools.”
Chief Supt Ndou said they were working closely with their counterparts in Mozambique to help curb cattle smuggling. He said transport problems were making it difficult to effectively patrol the border. Police staff officer for the Anti-Stock Theft Unit Chief Superintendent Andrew Phiri urged officers to engage stakeholders in the fight against stock theft.
“There is need to engage senior Government officials and traditional leaders on cattle branding so that they will act as pace setters for the people to fully comply on this campaign,” he said.