By Simon Liseli
The Namibian Police at Katima Mulilo in Zambezi region have recovered sixteen (16) cattle out of forty five (45) head of cattle that were stolen on August 13, 2022.
Recovered cattle were repatriated to Namibia via WENELA Border post on Tuesday, after they were recovered on August 20, from the neighbouring Zambia.
They were stolen from Chibozu village of Makanga area some 70 kilometres west of Katima Mulilo in Zambezi region, and were found at Silumbu area, in the western province of Zambia.
About forty- five herds went missing and sixteen are recovered while twenty nine(29) are still missing and no suspect has been arrested so far in both Zambia and Namibia, but the stock theft case has been opened in both two countries.
This was confirmed by the Nampol Spokesperson for Zambezi, Inspector Kisco Sitali.
It is believed that the cattle crossed through the ungazetted points of entry illegally, via bushes into Zambia where they were recovered by the interventions of stock theft unit together with farmers, and Namibians counterpart Zambian police officers.
Nampol spokesperson in Zambezi said when cattle are stolen in Namibia they use to contact their Zambian counterpart and give them descriptions of stolen cattle, such as brand marks and ear tags to simply identify the cattle.
“So, of the other side they are other people we are working with, like Zambian police and their partners, with some communities, so when a case is opened with us for something stolen, it can be cattle or goods it makes our work easier because we know the owner as the stolen cattle or goods have been identified through the description given by the owner to us” He said.
Inspector Sitali added that in the absence where the owner is unknown they normally used to involve the veterinary services, and through their records on the system, when they punch the brand mark some details of the cattle owner appears on the system that makes work of the police easier as they will know who is the rightful owner.
“In Zambia they don’t put brand mark to their livestock, only here in Namibia we do that, so animals will be identified through brand marks and ear tags” he added.
He however appealed to farmers to continue branding their animals whether by private or government tags that will assist them in identifying such types of animals by both farmers and the police.
He explained that there are challenges of farmers , those employing foreigners who are not documented even from their country of origin that makes difficulties for those people to be identified or followed up in cases where they have been involved in criminal activities, or drove away animals.
According to him, stock theft had been carried whether by former workers who have not been paid by their employers or returned to Zambia and comeback to take away the animals because they know the movements of the owner of the cattle.
He advice farmers to employ people who have documents and keep them in case that when such a person is missing or animals, it will be easy for the law enforcement to follow up.
NAMPOL Spokesman further urged farmers to visit their cattle posts at a regular basis, because when animals go missing without their knowledge, herd boys will be looking around hoping that they are nearby while they have travelled some kilometres.
“In that manner we are unlikely to recover stolen animals, so we advice farmers to report as soon as they realize that their animals are missing, and that can be only done if farmers are visiting their cattle posts on regular basis so that they can take stock of their kraal and animals”