Chiredzi – Chiredzi Town Council has a new by-law where villagers would pay stiff penalties for animals that stray into the town.
Villagers whose cattle or other animals stray into town will henceforth pay 20% of their value before the animals are released back to them. This was announced by the chairman of the housing committee Rodgers Chikonye at a full council meeting held recently.
This is probably one of the stiffest penalties for any council where for example the owner of a beast with a value of US$500 will pay US$100 fine if it strays into the urban settlement.
The beast will be auctioned if a villager fails to pay the penalty.
Chikonye said that the by-law came into effect because of the influx of cattle, goats and other animals that stray into the town destroying gardens, fences, buildings under construction and other infrastructure. He said that people were literally leaving their animals to roam freely in town.
Council secretary Charles Muchatikwa said the local authority will seize any stray animals and the owner will pay 20% of the value for his animal to be released back to him.
“The bylaw is now in place and any stray animal will attract a penalty of 20% of its value. We will seize any any stray animal and only release it back to the owner on payment of a penalty of 20% of the beast’s value,” said Muchatukwa.
“Last week I came back to find a broken window only to be told that a cow had broken the window. Some villagers are grazing their cattle around town,” said Makanani Chirhilele, a resident.
The bylaw will also cover dogs.