Africa-Press – Botswana. Fruitful engagements between Plumtree and Botswana chiefs living along the border fence have seen no livestock shot in the past year.
Plumtree villagers living along the border fence had been having their livestock shot whenever it strayed into Botswana.Over 600 cattle and 109 donkeys from Zimbabwe were shot between 2017 and 2021.
The neighbouring country is strict on its shoot-to-kill policy against stray livestock. The beasts are shot and burnt to prevent the spread of foot and mouth from Zimbabwe to Botswana.
Botswana supplies beef to the European Union (EU) and is fearful any risk of contamination will result in its meat exports being banned.
Acting chief for Mangwe district, headman Magcobafuthi and his village headmen met their Botswana counterparts last month to iron out issues around the loss of livestock.
“On the 5th of July, we held a meeting with Botswana chiefs along the fence; chief Jakalazi, chief Butali and chief Dube to further iron out our border issues to make sure that no livestock is lost.
“The meeting was a follow up to the one that was had with late chief Wasi and I can safely say the meeting was fruitful because we agreed that if our livestock is seen along the border post, they should be pushed back to the Zimbabwean side and not killed so that we do the same for them,” he said.
He went on to say they even engaged with the veterinary department of the country, so they do not kill Zimbabwean livestock.
“A matter of fact is we and them are one people divided by a fence but living in the same area, so we have to act like wise. We agreed to live in harmony and help each other by pushing back our livestock that cross over the border,” he added.
“In the past year, we’ve had no issues of our livestock, especially cattle, being killed in Botswana. This means that the meeting we had indeed was fruitful.”