Concerned about the escalating cases of stock theft in the district, Maun police have this month engaged with other stakeholders to deliberate on possible solutions to the unending crime. Among the stakeholders consulted were council by-law department, the department of veterinary services and the environmental affairs.
Maun Police Station Commander, Superintendent Chenamo Orateng revealed that they have recorded 216 cases of stock theft from January 2021 to date, out of which 120 were recorded this year from January –September while 96 cases were recorded in 2021.
Orateng further revealed that in most of these cases, butchery businesses are implicated as they buy stolen cattle at night, while in some cases the culprits run roadside food outlets selling the all popular Mokwetjepe.
“We have observed that there are many such small businesses in Maun from Matshwane, Boseja, Sedie, old mall and along bombadi road up to the Maun sports complex. We are monitoring the situation and we will soon engage with them to establish where they get the meat supply,” he said.
Orateng noted that this month they have engaged council by-laws, veterinary and the environmental offices to deliberate on issues of stock theft since they are the ones responsible for the issuing of licenses and inspections to butcheries.
He said the engagements were crucial as they have forged a partnership to fight the crime, adding the veterinary department is key in ensuring that butcheries sell only inspected meat as per the requirements.
He said among other stakeholder’s engagements, last month they started engaging with village community leaders and farmers in villages of Komana, Boro, Samedupi and Chanoga to find a possible solution to the problem. He indicated that farmers were advised to make sure that they take care of their livestock.
Orateng added that they have warned butcheries and mokwetjepe dealers of the fines for anyone found in contravention of the law.
One of the mokwetjepe dealers in Boseja who referred to be anonymous revealed that he buys his meat from butcheries in town adding that most of his providers are Maun Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), Radinama and Ngamiland abattoirs.
He revealed that in all that he buys, he keeps receipts as proof adding that the council should start issuing them licenses to operate mokwetjepe businesses.