BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Villagers in Buhera are falling prey to unscrupulous cattle buyers who are convincing them to sell their livestock for a song due to a cattle affliction called “January disease”, which is wreaking havoc in the area killing hundreds of cattle.
A local traditional leader, Chief Makumbe, said villagers were being taken advantage of due to the disease and the prevailing drought.
Chief Makumbe pleaded with the government to assist villagers with food.
“It is also sad that my villagers are losing cattle to the ‘January disease’. Hundreds of cattle have died due to the disease,” he said.
“I am worried that some cattle buyers are taking advantage of the situation as they are encouraging villagers to sell their cattle at low prices claiming their cattle are sick and might die due to the disease.”
The traditional leader said some villagers were being tricked to sell their cattle for as little as
“Villagers under headman Mombeyarara have lost 70% of their cattle while those under headman Mundire have lost 50% of their cattle to the disease,” he said.
“In Buhera there are serious drought issues. The list of people who need food aid has increased significantly, it has almost doubled.”
Chief Makumbe said due to economic hardships, many people were migrating from the towns to rural areas where they do not pay rentals.
“Where a person was getting 50kg of maize, one is now getting at most 20kg so that everyone gets something. So we are encouraging the government to increase the food distribution in my area,” he said.