Highway fence theft has hit Matabeleland South province and cattle farmers are pleading for urgent government intervention to curb rising road traffic accidents due to stray livestock in the area.

Matobo district, where farmers depend on cattle ranching,  has been the most affected.

Ward 25, Matobo district cattle farmer Gibson Sbhula Ndlovu said there was a need for urgent government intervention to remove illegal settlers from the area.

“Government needs to intervene and ensure the removal of illegal settlers from the area as we suspect that they could be responsible for the thefts.”

Resettled farmer, Peter Ndlovu said there was need for security patrols to deal with the issue of thieves in the area.

“In order to fix this as a village we need security patrols in order to identify the thieves responsible for stealing highway fences. We also need village administration which will be responsible for resolving problems of the village,” Ndlovu said.

Another farmer, Mlugulu village’s Milton Khumalo said it was difficult to control the spread of diseases given that the fence was stolen.

“Cattle from other areas cross the road to access water in our village and we can no longer protect our cattle from diseases such as foot and mouth since there is no highway fence,” Tshuma said.

The Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Felix Mhona  declined to comment and referred Southern Eye to the police since the issues involved theft  of cattle.

“Your questions are hinged on theft so surely the Ministry of Home Affairs can assist you. We also want our fence to be guarded jealously against such marauding thieves,”  Mhona said.

Matobo district development co-ordinator Obey Chaputsira declined to comment, while efforts to get a comment from Matabeleland South province police spokesperson Loveness Mangena were fruitless.

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