By ANDREW MUKOMA
CATTLE farmers in Zimba District, Southern Province have raised concern about the surge in livestock thefts in the district.
The most affected areas are Luyaba and Mapatizya in Simwatachela Chiefdom.
Teddy Simadawa, a farmer from Luyaba, told the Daily Nation that livestock theft particularly cattle and goats has increased in the area thereby threatening the livelihoods of livestock farmers.
Mr Simadawa complained that farmers had faced a setback as criminals were stealing their cattle and goats.
He lamented that the rampant theft of cattle and goats in the two areas was undermining their farming ambitions adding that there was need for immediate security measures to curb the vice.
Mr Simadawa further explained that livestock theft across Luyaba had been rampant for years now.
According to him, some farm workers had been conniving with livestock thieves and providing
information about the farm to the criminals who later invade the kraals during the night.
Godfrey Hamaundu, also a farmer in the district, blamed police officers for alleged laxity.
He said some suspects had been arrested red-handed with stolen animals but set free by police instead of prosecuting them.
Mr Hamaundu said that the rampant cattle theft had forced farmers to sacrifice sleep to protect their animals.
He urged his fellow farmers not only in Zimba district but across the region to carefully scrutinise people they employ to look after their livestock, saying some workers were conniving with thieves
to steal the animals.
“We have established that some of our fellow farmers employ workers who they do not know. This is the cause of increased theft of livestock. We are asking all people in the district and province in general to first know the person before employing them,” Mr Hamaundu said.