Each in Mozam­bique

…Im­pres­sive rains in Lubombo Pla­teu vis-à-vis drought in neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Mozam­bique and South Africa in­creased de­mand of beef from Eswa­tini in the two coun­tries

Observer on Saturday - - News -

n what could be viewed as a ma­jor fac­tor that wors­ens the theft of cat­tle in the coun­try and their rustling to the neigh­bor­ing Mozam­bique, cows from the coun­try fetch huge amounts of money when sold in that coun­try.

Cat­tle farm­ers in the Lobombo re­gion have learnt that cows from Eswa­tini fetch as much as E18 000 each, es­pe­cially in the Mozam­bi­can black mar­ket. That is what is fu­elling the rife theft of live­stock in the coun­try with cat­tle then rus­tled to Mozam­bique and the South African com­mu­ni­ties close to the Swazi bor­der­line along the Lubombo Plateau.

It was widely re­ported last week that about 474 cat­tle worth over E2 mil­lion have been stolen from the King­dom of Eswa­tini and rus­tled into Mozam­bique in the past two years with the ex­act value of the rus­tled cat­tle be­ing E2 273 600.

This is de­spite that the po­lice ser­vices from the two coun­tries signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) on cat­tle rustling, which was im­ple­mented in 2014.

Na­tional Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Isaac Ma­gag­ula was in Mozam­bique for a bi­lat­eral meet­ing from in the past two weeks with a del­e­ga­tion that com­prised Di­rec­tor Gen­eral for Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion De­part­ment (CID) Ser­vices Sam Mthembu, Re­gional Com­mis­sioner Lubombo Polic­ing and Ter­ri­to­rial Re­gion Musa Zwane, Po­lice at­taché’ at the Eswa­tini High Com­mis­sion in Ma­puto Vusi

IDlamini, of­fi­cers in the Po­lice In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fice In­spec­tor Muzi Dlamini and Con­sta­ble Zwide Maseko.

The meet­ing, which was led by newly ap­pointed In­spec­tor Gen­eral Com­man­der Bernardino Rafael of Mozam­bique, was held in Ma­puto and it fo­cused on the cross bor­der crime phe­nom­e­non af­fect­ing the two coun­tries. Ex­trap­o­lated sta­tis­tics in­di­cate that the neme­sis of theft of stock has been de­clin­ing by an av­er­age of 20 per cent per an­num since the sign­ing of the MoU. How­ever, the phe­nom­e­non still re­mains crit­i­cal with sta­tis­tics show­ing that dur­ing the pe­riod 2016 to date, 474 cat­tle val­ued at E2 273 600 were stolen and rus­tled to Mozam­bique ac­cord­ing to Lubombo re­gion sta­tis­tics.

Cat­tle farm­ers around Mam­bane, an area sit­u­ated in the Lubombo Plateau that neigh­bours Mozam­bique and South African com­mu­ni­ties, dis­closed to the Ob­server on Satur­day that they are very much aware of the route that their cat­tle are taken through to reach Mozam­bique’s cap­i­tal city of Ma­puto as they go through Boane.

A res­i­dent Jomo Nyawo of Mkhu­phul­wane in Mam­bane said they were aware of the high de­mand of beef in their neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Mozam­bique and South Africa.

He said such came af­ter the re­cent El Nino im­posed drought that swept across the South­ern African re­gion for over two years, but did not af­fect the Lubombo Plateau given favourable rain­fall in the area.

“The drought af­fected out neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties a lot, re­sult­ing in the mass deaths of cat­tle in their com­mu­ni­ties just like it hap­pened in most parts of Eswa­tini. Our cat­tle were not af­fected by the drought as they still had a lot to eat. This then re­sulted in a huge de­mand of our cat­tle in the neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties and as far as Ma­puto,” he ex­plained.

Nyawo went on to dis­close that what ex­ac­er­bates the sit­u­a­tion is the fact that along the bor­der­lines be­tween the three coun­tries, they are closely re­lated with some peo­ple claim­ing homes in Eswa­tini, Mozam­bique and South Africa.

He said, there­fore, peo­ple come and go be­tween the three coun­tries and are found mainly to be the con­duits of the rife cat­tle rustling.

He said as the cul­prits go about the process of rustling the cat­tle, they cut holes on the fence that bor­der the coun­tries and just drive them to their var­i­ous des­ti­na­tions.

“It is peo­ple that have rel­a­tives on ei­ther side of the bor­der­lines that are in­volved in the rustling. Fur­ther­more, we have Mozam­bi­cans that are work­ing in the coun­try’s sug­ar­cane fields as

sea­sonal sug­ar­cane cut­ters. They have the op­por­tu­nity to care­fully study the set up in the coun­try and then re­turn with their co­horts to steal the cat­tle in the coun­try.

“We’re, how­ever, happy with the ef­forts by Zwane (Musa) Re­gional Com­mis­sioner Lubombo Polic­ing and Ter­ri­to­rial Re­gion as he works closely with us in an ef­fort to stop the cat­tle rustling,” added Nyawo.

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