Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Patrick Ralotsia has indicated that Botswana is on alert against potential outbreak of cattle Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia, (CBPP) following its outbreak in Namibia. Adressing farmers at Maun Lodge on Thursday, Ralotsia explained that there is outbreak of CBPP in Caprivi Strip closer to Ngamiland.
Ralotsia said the outbreak has happened in Namibia, 50 kilometers away from Botswana. He said the CBPP outbreak has affected 50 and killed four cattle. Ralotsia explained that CBPP is a highly contagiours disease and there is a potentilal of its spread to Botswana. Ralotsia reminded farmers that in 1995 there was CBPP outbreak in Ngamiland which resulted in government having to destroy 320 000 entire cattle stock in the district. He said the country must guard against a repeat of the similar situation.
According to Ralotsia, Department of Veterinary Servicess has rushed to the area to observe the situation. He stated: “We are worried because the boarder fence in that area is poorly maintained so the danger of the disease spreading to Botswana is real.” Ralotsia further added that he has been in communication with the Namibian government to see how the two countries could collaborate on the problem, adding that, “next week I will visit the area to observe for myself.”
The Director of DVS, Dr Letlhogile Modisa said some of the symptomps of CBPP include dilation of the nostrils; frothy saliva at the mouth; grunting when exhaling or coughing and painful breathing. He said CBPP has incubation period of 6 months and it is therefore difficult to detect earlier.
BMC TO PAY FARMERS
Meanwhile Ralotsia told the farmers that Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has sourced funds to pay outstanding funds it owes farmers. Representative of the Ngamiland farmers associations, Frank Mafela explained that BMC has owed farmers for than 6 months. Mafela stated that this affect beef farming in Ngamiland further noting that P1900 per Kg price paid by BMC in Ngamiland is already too little.
“BMC has not reviewed this price since 2005. Inflation has since gone up. Farmers these days are incurring lots of damage to farms caused by elephant’s damage. It is high time the price is increased.”Ralotsia said despite recurrent Foot and Mouth Outbreaks, BMC looks to explore Kuwait and Democratic Republic of Congo markets for maun abbatoir beef.
He complained that the number of cattle sold to Maun abbatoir has drasticaly reduced saying farmers must continue selling cattle to avoid the abbatoir becoming a white elephant.Meanwhile farmers called on Ralotsia to investigate fraudulent practices by some farmers regarding the Botswana Animal Information and Traceability System (BAITS.) Mafela said some farmers are putting fake ear tags on animals calling on the ministry to investigate the issue.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.