Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Spokesperson in the Zambezi region, Inspector Kisco Sitali, has highlighted ongoing concerns regarding stock theft in the region, with nearly 100 cases recorded this year.
During an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, the unit commander revealed that from January to September, 93 cases of stock theft have been recorded, involving the theft of 374 heads of cattle in the region, with a combined value of over N.dollars two million.
Out of the 374 livestock stolen, 211 were successfully recovered in Namibia, and 38 of those were found in Zambia. The remaining 163 animals have not yet been recovered. Those arrested in connection with these cases include 18 Namibians and 16 Zambian nationals.
Meanwhile, Sitali believes that there is a market for stolen livestock in both Namibia and Zambia. He acknowledged that the cattle taken to Zambia are primarily used for farming purposes, while those stolen and kept within the region are slaughtered and sold as beef to local residents.
In light of this, Sitali cautioned the Zambezi region’s residents against the emergence of unauthorised meat markets, where stolen livestock meat is sold. He also called upon traditional authorities to regulate the meat market to prevent the sale of meat from stolen animals.
The spokesperson further said his office faces challenges in working with livestock owners to combat stock theft and cited gross negligence on the part of cattle owners in attending to their herds, while cattle herders leave their flocks unattended while grazing.
When animals are left unsupervised, it becomes difficult for the police to trace missing livestock, Sitali added.
In an effort to address these issues, NamPol, along with their counterparts in the Western Province of Zambia, have combined resources to combat stock theft through border patrols and collaboration with other stakeholders in watch forums. He urged farmers to always brand their animals to facilitate the tracking of missing livestock.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency