Our cattle are still dying

Gone are the days when we used to see numerous herds of cattle grazing the savanna grass in the plains of Rhodesia.

During those days we used to drive our cattle to the dip tank once every week without fail with the government supplying the dipping chemicals. It was rare for cattle to die of diseases. This scenario went on into the first years of independence.

Chibhoraniland was exporting prime beef to Europe and getting foreign currency. Beef was affordable to many and I still remember the ‘’Nyama inonaka inotaura yoga’’ Cold Storage Company (CSC) advert which said that tasty beef talks for itself. CSC employed thousands of men and women and ran its own successful cattle ranches.

But now ‘’angova matakadya kare asinganyaradzi mwana,’’ meaning you cannot silence a child who is crying for beef just by telling him that you used to eat plenty of it a long time ago. To silence him you would need to give him real beef, not just stories. But then where is the beef in Chibhoraniland? Mr President, our cattle are dying in their hundreds. I am now left with two beasts out of the twenty that I had.

Some of my neighbours were left with nothing as all their cattle perished due to diseases. Now they are counted among the poor. You see, cattle are a symbol of wealth for us black Africans.

Without cattle we will also be hungry and even poorer as we cannot plough our fields. Thanks to pfumvudza, a small unploughed piece of land can give us enough maize to survive for 12 months. Our dip tanks have been dry for a long time now, the rea- son being that there are no dipping chemicals.

Very few of us can afford to buy these chemicals for ourselves. Consequently our cattle haven’t been dipping since then. The end result is that these cattle are dying every day in large numbers due to preventable diseases.

To make matters worse we cannot eat the meat as it is poisonous, so we have to bear the extra burden of digging deep holes to bury them. No meat is going to Europe, no forex is pouring into the country, many are left jobless, valuable infrastructure and equipment is lying idle, commercial and rural farmers are getting poorer and poorer.

Mr President, please urgently do more before the national heard is getting depleted to unsustainable levels. https://masvingomirror.com

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