Zim, Botswana tackle rustling

Addressing the official opening of the Ministers meeting at the Fourth Session of the Botswana-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC) here yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava said recent efforts by the Government have yielded positive results, leading to a decrease in livestock theft along the border.

ZIMBABWE remains committed to addressing the endemic challenges of rustling along its border with Botswana and will continue allocating resources towards tackling the long-standing problem that has for long plagued communities on both sides.

Addressing the official opening of the Ministers meeting at the Fourth Session of the Botswana-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC) here yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava said recent efforts by the Government have yielded positive results, leading to a decrease in livestock theft along the border.

“During the Third Session of the BNC, the Republic of Botswana brought to the attention of the meeting, the endemic problem of livestock rustling, particularly along our common border,” said Ambassador Shava. 

“The two countries initiated a joint framework for co-operation to facilitate and harmonise efforts in the fight against the problem. I note with satisfaction that the joint efforts by the two police organisations and inter-state liaison operations have drastically reduced livestock rustling crime along the border. 

“It is worth noting that even if our resources as individual countries may be scarce and stretched to the limits, both countries have made sacrifices for the sake of ending this crime.” 

Ambassador Shava said Zimbabwe was committed to ensuring that the BNC becomes a platform for enhanced co-operation between the two countries for mutual socio-economic development.

“It is evident that there is a will and drive to ensure that our two friendly countries achieve sustainable development and economic prosperity for the benefit of our peoples. I want to assure you that Zimbabwe has come to this meeting with an open mind. 

“We are ready to engage on the broad and diverse range of issues that underpin our relationship, with a view to delivering tangible results. We also looking forward to working closely together in addressing areas where progress has been lagging behind.”

Yesterday’s meeting, Amb Shava said, was convened to consider recommendations from the preceding senior officials’ meeting, in preparation for today’s Heads of State Summit.

“We must continue to be incisive in our work, so as to augment the efforts of our two leaders, who have risen to the challenge by enriching our relations, and strengthening our solid bilateral co-operation for this and future generations.”

He said agreements set to be signed during today’s Heads of State Summit are a reflection of Zimbabwe and Botswana’s firm political commitment to strengthen and deepen their long-standing friendly ties.

Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Lemogang Kwape said livestock rustling was adversely affecting communities living along the countries’ shared border.

“There is one major issue that continues to trouble our two countries, namely the problem of cattle rustling along our common border. This problem, which started as common stock theft, has since escalated into a serious organised cross border crime. 

“It continues to rob many farmers of their livestock and condemning them to a life of poverty and destitution. There is, therefore, an urgent need to take action on this problem, since it has far reaching implications not only on the livelihoods of the affected communities, but also on the socio-development of our two countries.

“In this regard there is an urgent need to conclude and sign a framework agreement on livestock rustling between the two countries.”

Herald

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