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KgomoKhumo makes come back next month - Motube

24 May 2023

The popular Botswana Police anti-stock theft operation, kgomokhumo will be back next month.

In an interview on Wednesday, Botswana Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube said the launch of the operation would be held in Letlhakeng on  1 June, where the Minister of Defence and Security, Mr Kagiso Mmusi is expected to officiate.

“We have bases in various parts of the country and immediately after the launch, they will be in operation. We will start in areas such as Kgalagadi South, Borolong, Ngwaketse, Kweneng and Kgatleng among others,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Motube said that the objective of the operation was to identify stock theft syndicates and profile them, identify the market for stolen stock and identify hotspots to disrupt the illegal activities.

“We are determined and will ensure that we bring perpetrators to book. As the Botswana Police we are very much aware of the importance of cattle to an ordinary Motswana’s life and so we appeal to Batswana to help us make the dream of bringing culprits to book a reality,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Motube said that farmers could play their role in nipping stock-theft by branding and earmarking their cattle and kraaling them.

“We also urge farmers to know their cattle. As a farmer you have to know your stock by colour and lineage. Most stock thieves thrive because farmers cannot even identify their stock when required to do so,” he said.

He also pleaded with farmers to resuscitate farmers committees as they were very helpful in the fight against stock theft. He noted that it was disheartening that farmers, with all their resources and support from government, could be overpowered by stock thieves who were in minority.

The assistant commissioner also indicated that experience had shown that most stolen cattle were those with zero tooth due to their high market value.

 He also indicated that in an effort to defeat stock theft, sections 3 and 4 of the Stock theft Act had since been reviewed to ensure that upon conviction, first offenders would be sentenced to between 5-12 years while repeat offenders would be sentenced to between 7-12 years.

“The initial penalty was no more than five years of jail term, and this time the law now allows for the convict to be jailed for 12 to 25 years, if there is evidence of use of violence. It also allows for the confiscation of any tool used in the committal of the crime if one is convicted, such as vehicles,” he warned.

On whether Kgomokhumo has had any impact in the past, Assistant Commissioner Motube said that they were satisfied with its achievements. 

He however, raised concerns that some cases of stock theft went unreported as farmers preferred to settle the matter with the offenders, something he said frustrated all efforts to fight the theft.

“Past success is the reason we are going back to the bush, and not only will we operate in new areas, but we will also go back to areas where we previously operated like Takatokwane, Khekhenye and Mabutsane, where there is evidence of regrouping by these syndicates,” he said.

In the past, there had been complaints by farmers that stock theft cases took long to prosecute, something Assistant Commissioner Motube said they were aware of.

“We are aware of people re-offending while on bail because their cases took too long. This time, the Department of Justice is part and parcel of this operation and this was done to address this very concern,” he said.

Since its inception, Kgomokhumo has been a darling of many farmers as they appreciated its instant impact on the fight against stock theft. 

The last operation was around July in Rakops area in Boteti. ENDS 

Source : BOPA

Author : Olekantse Sennamose

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : 24 May 2023