By Blessings Chidakwa
Government is deeply concerned with the low uptake of cattle branding in Mhondoro-Ngezi district, despite the rise in stock theft in the area.
It costs $2 to apply for a cattle branding certificate.
In an interview at the launch of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Mhondoro-Ngezi district Client Service Charter and Cattle branding reinvigoration at Lincolin Primary School recently, district registrar Mr Kido Muzira said the registration of brands was declining.
“These days turnout for registration of cattle branding is very low with less than a thousand people having registered in the whole district, but initially it was very high,” he said.
“In some cases the low turnout is because the owners are not immediately available as we insist on having owners registered instead of third parties.”
In a bid to lure people to register, Mr Muzira said the registry was conducting joint campaigns with ZRP.
“Whenever police hold their awareness campaigns they invite us so that we register the cattle brands in the area. At the moment we are unable to go around on our own for the branding exercise,” he said.
“The challenge we have is when we do mobile outreaches people would be scrambling for documents like national identification cards and birth certificates while turning a blind eye to stock registration.
“People should be aware that when we conduct registration processes we will be doing everything concurrently, but we end up going back with stock forms,” he said.
Mr Muzira said Government was also considering decentralising registration centres in the district as part of easing access to the services they offer.
“So far we have one centre in the district at Mamina, but we are supposed to be having at least three centres at Turf and Venice. The problem at the moment is shortage of staff to man the offices when the centres open,” he said.
Opening an office at Venice Mine would relieve pressure on farmers who have to travel shorter distances to access the services. The current offices, Mr Muzira said were not easily accessible to all the farmers in the district with some having to fork out at least $20 in travelling expenses alone to reach the offices.