Tonota police register six livestock theft cases

Head of cattle
Head of cattle

FRANCISTOWN: Tonota police station commander, Oteng Nganda has said they have recorded six cases of livestock theft in three months.

Nganda expressed concern to The Monitor over the alarming rate of stock theft in the area. He said most of the livestock owners in their policing area have a tendency of abandoning unbranded cows and goats, which usually fuels the rate of livestock theft. The Tonota police chief said in most cases, livestock owners turn their backs on their livestock and pin the responsibility on the caretakers.

He said since the beginning of the year, they have recorded six cases of livestock theft as compared to four, which was registered during the same period last year. He further revealed that they have managed to arrest three men in connection with one of the cases. Nganda said the three men were caught red handed at Shashe Bridge with 15 goats that were suspected to be stolen. He said the market value for the stolen goats is P15,000. He added: “Upon being questioned by the police, the men failed to provide proof of ownership.

The same goats belonged to a villager in Tonota West and were reported stolen.” He said just a few days ago they arrested two men who were also caught with unidentified three calves. He indicated that the same men also failed to provide proof of ownership. He said the calves are still in police custody until returned to the rightful owner.

The five men appeared before the Francistown Magistrate's Court last week and will be back for bail hearing on April 14. Nganda suspected that the wrongdoers are part of a syndicate that targets mostly unidentified and unsupervised livestock. He said that the growing trend proves that there is also a market for stolen livestock. He warned people against buying stolen livestock, as they will be in trouble with the law. He added that goats’ owners should identify their goats at the customary court to gain proof of ownership. He encouraged the pastoral farmers to look after their livestock and the villagers to report any strange movement of livestock in their communities.

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