Farmers raise concern of increase of stock theft in their areas

ONESI: Farmers in the Omusati Region’s Uukolonkadhi and Uukwaluudhi traditional districts have raised concern regarding the increase of stock theft in their areas.

This is in spite of an embargo on cattle movement that has been put in place due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in northern Namibia, the farmers said.

This came to light during a meeting held at the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority offices at Onesi settlement yesterday when the affected farmers, police officials and representatives of the local authorities of Uukolonkadhi, Uukwaluudhi and Ombalantu consulted on manners to curb stock theft.

During the meeting it was alleged that young men of Angolan nationality have been identified as being culprits in most stock theft cases in Uukolonkadhi and Uukwaluudhi, while some village headmen were also accused of collaborating with the rustlers.

Police officers who are involved in the investigations of several stock theft cases in the area claimed that some headmen issued dubious permits to rustlers to move stolen livestock into neighboring Angola.

The target market is Angola where a head of cattle can be sold for up to N.dollars 20 000, one of the police officers told the meeting.

Police officers have appealed to local traditional leaders to cooperate in the investigations by refraining from aiding the rustlers, while at the same time asking the farmers to desist from the tendency of employing young Angolan men at their cattle posts.