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Matimela Act proposals irk dikgosi.

Dikgosi have reacted differently towards the proposed amendments to the Matimela Bill of 2017 that was presented by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso to the house on Monday.

They are of the view that the word matimela was not explicitly defined in the proposed draft bill, as in principle it should refer to animals that do not have any form of identification.

They said most of the animals referred to as matimela have got some form of identification, hence they were puzzled by the fact that they are classified as matimela.

'If an animal has an ear tag and has been inserted bolus, what is the point to classify it as letimela,' said Kgosi Disho Ndhowe of Okavango.

Kgosi Galeakanye Modise of Tswapong region also concurred with Kgosi Ndhowe that the name matimela was not clearly defined as in many instances the cattle had some form of identification which makes it easier to trace the owner.

He further suggested that instead of classifying livestock as matimela there should be efforts to establish a call centre to inform owners of lost animals.

'Most cattle referred to as matimela have a brand which makes it easy for identification when lost,' he argued.

Kgosi Kgomotso Boiditswe of Serowe region was also of the view that ideally matimela should only refer to cattle without any form of traceability.

He said most animals were loaded with information. 'Therefore when they are lost the owner should simply be called as the agriculture department has all the records of the owner,' he argued.

Kgosi Boiditswe suggested that instead councils should be finding means of making the owners pay hefty penalties for keeping their animals so that they may respond timeously.

Kgosi Thebe Makwa of Moshupa region said the three months notice within which the owner may claim an animal was too short, adding that it was not fair for farmers because failure to show up would subject their animals to being sold out.

He said sometimes the messages reached farmers late or at times they do not get the messages at all, hence they would end up losing their livestock.

He also said some livestock such as donkeys, goats and sheep do not bear any computerised ear tags, making it more difficult to trace owners.

Kgosi Makwa also said cattle impounders were impounding indiscriminately.

Kgosi Letso Malema of Bobirwa region was of the view that the proposed amendment of reduction time keeping impounded livestock was acceptable because councils were burdened with responsibilities of impounding stray animals and incurring high cost of maintaining them.

He also said the new law was worthwhile because most cattle roam all over especially during drought period with some not bearing any ear tags.

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Publication:Botswana Daily News (Gaborone, Botswana)
Date:Jan 30, 2018
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