FRANCISTOWN: Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development and Member of Parliament for Francistown East, Buti Billy has demanded his pound of flesh against the digital news page, The Ghetto Metro Online for ‘cyberbullying’.
This follows reports awash social media on Saturday that The Ghetto Metro Online first published saying the police confiscated meat after raiding Billy’s butchery in Francistown for allegedly selling cuts from a stolen cow. Billy has lodged a case against the publication for the social media report.
“I have reported The Ghetto Metro Online to the police for cyberbullying. At least I could have been given the right to reply before such allegations were published against me,” complained Billy.
Francistown Central Police Station commander, Lebalang Maniki told The Monitor yesterday that the assistant minister has opened a case of cyberbullying against The Ghetto Metro Online. Maniki said: “At the moment I cannot say much because the matter is still fresh. The nature of charges that will be laid against the publication will be informed by the cyber Act.”
On the social media report that went viral, Maniki denied confiscating meat related to any suspected stolen cow at Billy’s butchery. “We were not dealing with a case of meat from an allegedly stolen cow. What we confiscated (at Billy’s butchery) was meat that was not suitable for human consumption. We were doing routine inspections of local businesses in our policing area. That is when we found meat that has not been taken for inspection (as a requirement under the Meat Industries Act) at the butchery.
It is a legal requirement that every meat that enters butchery premises has to have been inspected whether it is for sale or for individual consumption,” Maniki told The Monitor yesterday. He added: “We liaised with veterinary officials who found that the said meat was not suitable for human consumption.
The meat was then seized and later burned. We did not act on a tip-off. While still doing our investigations, it emerged that the meat was supposed to be cut into pieces and returned to the rightful owner.
The owner had engaged the butchery manager to cut it (meat) for him. It is worth noting that we confiscated the meat before it was cut.” Maniki said the owner of the cow (whose meat was supposed to be cut at the assistant minister’s butchery) had all legal documents showing that he is its rightful owner (of the cow) and was ultimately not charged with any offence.
The butchery manager, however, was charged for contravening the Meat Industries Act by allowing meat that has not been inspected to be cut at the butchery, according to Maniki. Yesterday Billy told The Monitor that on Thursday his manager bought five cows at Gojwane.
He explained that the one died moments after being transported into a truck after being injured by others. “My manager agreed with the owner of the cows that the meat from the dead cow will be cut and returned to him (owner) while a suitable alternative was being sought.
I was not involved in the transaction at all. I don’t deal with the day-to-day operations of the butchery. I have been fully cooperating with the police on the matter,” he said.