By Robert Tapfumaneyi
GROWING incidences of stock-theft should push farmers including those in rural areas to brand and register their livestock with authorities, Registrar General Clemence Masango said.
Masango was briefing editors from top publications in the country, Friday at which he added that branding also helps in law enforcement.
He said besides registering people for births, deaths and such other documents, the Registrar General also keeps a register of all domesticated animals.
“We maintain a register of livestock for the farmers so we encouraged them to brand their livestock and to register them so that when they have the inconvenience of disappearing, identification of the livestock would be easy,” Masango said.
The Registrar General has been struggling with demands for passports and other documentation but Masango indicated the situation is slowly returning to normal.
Masango added that animal registration also helps in maintaining order in communities.
“So it’s not just for crime but for purposes of order within the community,” the Registrar General said.
He added: “Going forward we also hope that you will help us tell our story for the benefit of our people in Zimbabwe and beyond. At the moment we do not issue communications via social media but soon, very soon we are going to create such platforms.”
Masango was appointed as the Registrar General in 2017 replacing the long serving Tobaiwa Mudede.
Information obtained from Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Anti-Stock Theft unit shows that cases of stock theft rose sharply in 2018 as compared to the previous year with 31 952 cases being recorded compared to 25 706 the previous year.
Just over 2 704 livestock were recovered.
In the past few years police have also maintained a list of notorious criminals who have become a menace across the country with livestock rustling and among these were, Sibangani Sithole of Bulawayo 48 goats, Felix Nyamuranga of Featherstone ( 37 cattle), Dungani Dube of West Nicholson (36 cattle), Tellmore Chigariro of Chipinge (30 cattle) and Price Dube of Gwanda (25 cattle).