Farmers recover 100 stolen cattle… operation to clamp down on livestock theft yields results
A massive operation by farmers and the police, aimed at eradicating stock theft in Omaheke region, is yielding results after close to 100 stolen cattle were recovered on Wednesday in the Otjombinde constituency.
The cattle were reportedly stolen from farms across the region over a period of time. Constituency councillor Katjanaa Kaurivi told New Era yesterday the number of recovered cattle is likely to shoot up as farmers with the help of law enforcement officers are continuing with the search.
“As we are speaking, I am at Tallismanus where over 100 cattle are seized by farmers with the help of the police. We are waiting for more cattle as some farmers are in the camps of the accused looking for more cattle so the number might escalate,” Kaurivi said.
“We do not have the exact number yet, maybe later today we will give you the exact number, for now all I can say is they are over 100.”
The councillor has asked farmers to identify the seized livestock at Tallismanus today.
According to Kaurivi, cattle rustling has become a major problem in the constituency and the farming community is looking at establishing roadblocks at both entrances to the constituencies.
“We are thinking of establishing roadblocks at the entrance of Kalahari and Epukiro to help control this crisis that is affecting farmers’ livelihood. Currently, we have a mobile station at Helena and this has proven not to be effective,” said the councillor. He warned farmers not to take the law into their own hands but allow the police do their work. A local farmer from Erindirozombaka, Aron Ndjoze said cattle rustling is a serious issue in the area, while he accused some police officers of turning a blind eye to livestock theft in the area.
“Cattle rustling is a big problem in this constituency or in the region in general. The situation is getting out of hand. Sometimes, police officers are involved, so in most cases dockets are lost because of their involvement,” he alleged. Omaheke regional commander Commissioner Andreas Haingura told New Era he was not aware of the latest developments in Otjombinde even though Kaurivi claimed he was briefed on the situation.
“I don’t know of anything in that regard, I have not been informed. I can only confirm when a case is opened,” Haingura said.
When contacted, regional crime investigations coordinator Chris Kalimbula was not available for immediate comment as he was in a “very serious meeting”.
Recently, New Era reported that a task force formed by communal farmers and dubbed ‘Operation Coronavirus’ recovered stolen livestock worth N$400 000 in the Epukiro constituency earlier this month.
The task force recovered 58 cattle, 10 donkeys and 12 sheep.
The leader of the task force, Sandi Tjaronda, told New Era at the time that during the lockdown, part-time farmers decided to form a task force to tackle the issue of cattle theft that has become prevalent in the area.
2020-05-22 11:11:52 4 months ago