The chairman of the Ovitoto Anti-Stock Theft Forum, Ebben Zarondo, says stock theft has become a critical issue in the Otjozondjupa region.
“It has become a serious concern in recent years, not only for the residents of Ovitoto, but for the enitre Otjozondjupa region,” he says.
Zarondo said this at the handing over of a petition by the forum to the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
In light of recent events, the forum has mobilised its members and the wider community to petition against the granting of bail for individuals accused of stock theft.
This highlights the severity of the issue and the determination of Ovitoto residents to see justice served.
Local farmers and community members argue that releasing accused stock thieves on bail poses a significant risk to the community’s safety and security.
According to Zarondo, one of the accused who came forth in court on Tuesday is a resident of Okasure village, where cattle was stolen.
“We believe this very suspect, who is in court, is part of the syndicate robbing and terrorising the residents of Ovitoto with stock theft,” he said.
He said continued stock theft has a negative impact on the livelihoods of farmers in the region and is worrying.
One of the farmers affected by stock theft, Hipangua Tengee, said the situation is critical, adding he hopes the runners who are still at large are caught and brought to justice.
“This situation is critical . . . there are still runners and we still have to look for them,” he said.
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