Botswana farmers raid Zimbabwe

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BOBONONG – Botswana police are investigating reports that some Batswana farmers crossed into Zimbabwe and attacked a Kezi cattle post whose owners were suspected to be keeping their stolen animals.

Senior Superintendant Takongwa Madzwiduma, a police officer commanding the Bobonong area, said in an interview that 10 Batswana farmers from Lepokole and surrounding cattle posts were suspected to have tracked their donkeys into Zimbabwe on July 13.

Mazwiduma said Botswana police received a report from their Zimbabwean counterparts about the incident.

He said earlier on July 9, the suspected Batswana farmers are said to have crossed into Zimbabwe and repossessed some of their stolen donkeys at a cattle post near Shashe River.

Mazwiduma warned the farmers to never cross the border illegally because it was an offence to do so. Suspected stocktheft should be reported to the police. He added that Botswana and Zimbabwean police had good working relations. The neighbourhood watch in that country always helped police recover stolen livestock as was the case in 2010 when 57 donkeys were stolen from the area.

The police commander said cross-border crime was supported by Batswana who employed illegal immigrants in their farms and cattle posts.

He said Lepokole people should emulate residents of Matlopi, Mabolwe, Gobojango and Semolale who have stopped employing illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.

He promised Lepokole farmers that police would intensify their operations in the area to stem livestock theft.

However, he said success would only occur if the farmers played their part.

For his part Kgosi Mmirwa Malema of Bobirwa warned residents that illegally crossing over into another country and taking the law into one’own hands was a serious security provocation that could incite war.

– Bopa