Gwanda moots cattle impound system return
Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief
The Municipality of Gwanda is working on modalities to re-introduce the cattle impounding system for stray cattle which have become a menace in the mining town.
Cattle, goats and donkeys roam the busy streets of the town centre and residential areas.
The stray animals also threaten the mining town’s urban status.
Gwanda resident Mr Msizi Msebele said it has now become common to wake up to the noise of the bells of animals.
“Our residential area has now been turned into a grazing area because of stray livestock that roam around. Almost every morning we wake up to the noise of bells of cattle and goats as they pass through our neighbourhood. Sometimes they pass along the road but most times they stray into our yards and start grazing,” said Mr Msebele.
He said the animals move in large numbers and damage their gardens. “It’s now difficult to grow vegetables in the yard because the animals graze on the plants. It’s disadvantageous to our families because as you know, vegetables here in Gwanda are expensive and some of them are hard to come by,” said Mr Msebele.
Another resident, Mrs Nomalanga Ncube said it is now difficult to tell whether one lives in a rural area or an urban centre because of the stray animals.
“The amount of cattle which roam our neighbourhood is just too much. These animals also overturn rubbish bins both at homes and even in the CBD. They also stop to eat some rubbish from the bins. Sometimes vehicles struggle to move especially at robot-controlled intersections because of these animals. There is a need for the municipality to do something as the situation is getting out of hand. The presence of animals that just roam the streets is not good for the image of the town,” said Mrs Ncube.
Residents said the animals come from surrounding farms where their owners allow them to roam freely and called on the municipality to urgently arrest the problem. Gwanda Mayor, Councillor Njabulo Siziba said the municipality will re-introduce the cattle impounding system as council was fighting a losing battle with farmers who let their livestock wander into the city centre and residential areas.
“We’re struggling with this problem and believe the answer lies in returning to the old system where we would impound cattle. Council has resolved to start impounding cattle probably in a month’s time. We’re still working on the penalties. They’re actually not stray animals but they have owners whom we’ve tried to engage with no luck,” said Clr Siziba.