The Voice (Botswana)


Cross-border cattle rustling poses common threat to Botswana and Zimbabwe


Organised cross-border livestock rustling along Botswana-zimbabwe border continue to rob Batswana farmers of their livestock and has reduced them to a life of destitutio­n.

Speaking on Thursday this week, at the just-ended fourth session of Bi-national Commission ( BNC) between Botswana and Zimbabwe, which was held in Maun from Monday 5th February, 2024 to Friday 9th February, 2024, Botswana Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lemogang Kwape, noted that cattle rustling was a major issue that continues to trouble the two neighbouri­ng countries.

Kwape noted that this crime started off as mere common stock theft, but has since escalated into serious, well organised cross-border crime.

“There is therefore an urgent need to expedite action on this problem. Since it has far-reaching implicatio­ns, not only on the livelihood­s of the affected communitie­s, but also on the socio-economic developmen­t of the two countries,” Kwape pointed out and added: “There is an urgent need to conclude and sign the Framework Agreement on Livestock Rustling.”

Kwape further explained that in the meantime a Joint Technical Committee (JTC), which has since been appointed to oversee relief programme for affected farmers, developed guidelines for restocking as well as the verificati­on and assessment form as tools used in identifica­tion of beneficiar­ies.

“Given our excellent bilateral relations. I am confident that our joint efforts can effectivel­y eradicate the problem, including its root causes. I have no doubt that our senior officials have come up with some recommenda­tions for our considerat­ion in order to effectivel­y address this problem,” said Kwape.

Botswana brought up the concern of the endemic problem of livestock rustling at the third session of BNC held in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe two years ago. The two countries then initiated a joint framework for cooperatio­n to facilitate and harmonise efforts in the fight against the problem.

Co-chairing the minister’s session at the fourth BNC in Maun, Zimbabwe Minister of Foreign Affairs and Internatio­nal Trade, Frederick Shava, stated that the joint efforts have actually reduced this kind of crime. “I note with satisfacti­on that the joint efforts by the police organisati­ons and interstate liaison operations have drasticall­y reduced livestock rustling crime along the border. It is worth noting that even if our resources as individual countries may be scarce and stretched to the limits, both countries have made sacrifices for the sake of ending this crime.”

Meanwhile, both Presidents - Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana and Emmerson Mnangwagwa of Zimbabwe - stressed the importance of cooperatio­n in all sectors of agricultur­e as a priority, including on the issue of fighting crimes such as cross-border livestock rustling among other interventi­ons.

 ?? ?? MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Lemogang Kwape of Botswana and Frederick Shava of Zimbabwe
MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Lemogang Kwape of Botswana and Frederick Shava of Zimbabwe

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