It may take quite a while before the Ministry of Agriculture assumes responsibility over issues of stray livestock (matimela) in Botswana.
Local Government Assistant Minister Setlhabelo Modukanele has revealed that government’s decentralisation process has to take place before any key decisions can be made.
Government, through local authorities, has in the past registered revenue collection exceeding P11 million across districts through matimela collection.
However, the main purpose of matimela collection is to provide a service and not raise funds. Financial years 2017/18 matimela collection across districts stood at 6 594 and in 2018/19 the number was 7 275.
Minister Modukanele told Parliament: “It is worth noting that relocating matimela collection to Ministry of Agriculture will frustrate the aspirations of the decentralisation policy which is currently at its final stage of formulation and seeks to transfer authority and power from central government to local authorities.”
“There are no plans to hand over the matimela programme to the Ministry of Agricultural development and Food Security. My Ministry through local the local authorities responsible for development programme and provision of services at a local level hence promoting citizen or community participation for efficient and effective accountable service delivery,” Modukanele said.
Animals which are a cause for concern include, cattle, goats, donkeys to name a few and in the 2018/19 financial year. 4 704 matimela were auctioned and the amount raised from the sales was P4 302,280.15. The number claimed by owners was 2223 animals and P676,962.50 was raised from such claims.
“In a new development, my ministry is looking toward collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture to improve the Matimela services by utilising Botswana Animal Information and Traceability System (BAITS). This will notify owners of matimela where practical, I must however hesitant point out that this will require a corresponding amendment of the matimela law, because procedures of notification and related time periods are prescribed in the statutes,” Modukanele said.
Member of Parliament for Ghanzi South Motsamai Motsamai had asked the minister of Local Government and Rural Development whether or not there are plans to hand over the Matimela Programme to the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security; if not, why not and if so, when.