Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
Zimbabwe Republic Police is lobbying for legislation that prevents the sale and slaughter of cattle that are not branded. Police want the law to be operational by December next year.
The National Coordinator Anti-Stock Theft Unit, Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza, yesterday said police wanted to come up with adequate measures to curb cattle rustling countrywide.
He said Government wanted all cattle to be branded by next year.
Snr Asst Comm Makodza is leading a team of senior officers on a tour of provinces where they are conducting meetings and addressing people and farmers on the need to brand their livestock.
“The wealth of a black person cannot be articulated without mentioning his stock. These are the basis of our wealth. This beautiful wealth needs to be jealously safeguarded by us. The daily statistics of stocktheft we receive throughout the country are very disturbing and as such the national office has decided to talk to the farmers and villagers about these shocking events.
“It is my fervent hope that the results of our meetings will reduce cases of stocktheft. Basically, ladies and gentlemen, the first stance that we can adopt to reduce the cases of our stock being stolen is personal branding. Personal branding is not a one-day event but a process which starts by acquiring brand certificates from the office of the Registrar-General, followed by the procurement of branding irons and lastly branding,” he said.
He said branding livestock helped farmers identify their beasts and reduce cases of dispute over ownership among the farmers.
“It’s also an international standard in livestock identification and traceability systems as it enables stock trading to be transparent since the stock owner will be compelled to produce brand certificate bearing brand marks similar to that on the stock. Thieves are also afraid to steal branded cattle as they are afraid of getting caught,” Snr Asst Comm Makodza said.
He said safeguarding stock would help farmers create wealth for their families and the nation at large. “We can also pay bride price during marriage ceremonies and this will eventually lead to strengthening of our relations,” he said.
Snr Asst Comm Makodza said animals that could be branded or ear tagged were cattle, goat, donkeys and sheep.