Gaborone — Botswana Police Service (BPS)'s Kgomokhumo Operation is said to be making positive strides in the fight against stock theft and cross-border cattle rustling in the Ngwaketse West region.
Speaking in an interview with BOPA, Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube said the anti-theft operation had so far led to the arrest of 69 people, 65 males, three females, with nine cases completed while cases before court and under investigations were 15 and 23 respectively.
Mr Motube said the convicted had been sentenced to prison terms between five and seven years by different courts, adding that so far the operation had dealt with 197 animals.
He emphasised that the BPS structures and all strategies were in full swing, adding that the main challenge was that farmers do not brand, ear mark and kraal their stock, leading to such animals easily falling prey to stock thieves.
He said the thieves specialised on heifers, because there is always a likelihood that they would be found unbranded, adding that cattle were in high demand because they had a market in South Africa, hence the alarming stock theft cases at Ramatlabama and Tlhareseleele.
The Assistant Commissioner expressed concern that even if such culprits were brought before court, it was difficult to deal with cases of unbranded stock, adding that some stock branding had faded and thus difficult to read.
Mr Motube said support from the farmers was vital, reiterating the call for farmers to take care of their stock.
He said the abundance of surface water sources in the Ngwaketse West, Kweneng West and part of Kgalagadi North exacerbate the problem.
He revealed that his office consulted the Water Utilities Corporation to fix the problem of dripping reservoirs to reduce animal movement to such areas.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>