04 Aug 2015 09:30am
ONESI, 04 AUG (NAMPA) - Farmers in the Omusati Regions Uukolonkadhi and Uukwaluudhi traditional districts have raised concern regarding the increase of stock theft in their areas.
This is in spite of an embargo on cattle movement that has been put in place due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in northern Namibia, the farmers said.
This came to light during a meeting held at the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority offices at Onesi settlement on Monday when the affected farmers, police officials and representatives of the local authorities of Uukolonkadhi, Uukwaluudhi and Ombalantu consulted on manners to curb stock theft.
During the meeting it was alleged that young men of Angolan nationality have been identified as being culprits in most stock theft cases in Uukolonkadhi and Uukwaluudhi, while some village headmen were also accused of collaborating with the rustlers.
Police officers who are involved in the investigations of several stock theft cases in the area claimed that some headmen issued dubious permits to rustlers to move stolen livestock into neighbouring Angola.
The target market is Angola where a head of cattle can be sold at a high price of up to N.dollars 20 000, one of the police officers told the meeting.
Police officers have appealed to local traditional leaders to cooperate in the investigations by refraining from aiding the rustlers, while at the same time asking the farmers to desist from the tendency of employing young Angolan men at their cattle posts.
The meeting learned that a number of Angolan men are in charge at most of the cattle posts, and many of them are being recruited by certain businessmen to steal cattle for them.
Some 50 cattle where allegedly driven from two different cattle posts by suspected rustlers, before the police could confiscate them from the rustlers who attempted to cross into Angola during the night.
The police officials also informed the meeting that 17 stolen cattle were transported in a truck from the Uukolonkadhi to Okalongo Constituency, also in the Omusati Region, before the police intervened and returned the cattle to its rightful owners.
We are in the field day and night monitoring the situation and to try identifying their stealing methods, but we need public assistance in this regard, police officials told the meeting.
A seven-member committee was established at the end of the gathering to compile a detailed report on stock theft in the area.
The report is to be presented to ministries such as International Cooperation and Relations, Safety and Security and Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
Members of the committee are the former Minister of Mines and Energy Isak Katali; Malakia Shoombe; Ombandja Iiyambo; Kristof Shipingana; Josephina Shilongo; Reckson Munekamba and David Nandiinotya.
The meeting also appointed Mathews Kanime as secretary of the committee.