Omaheke farmers oppose bail for ‘notorious’ stock theft accused

Several farmers in the Omaheke Region on Thursday took to the streets of Gobabis, opposing bail to individuals forming part of an alleged stock theft ‘syndicate’.

The concerned farmers, along with the Community Against Stock Theft Organisation, delivered a petition to the public prosecutor’s office, objecting the granting of bail to the accused citing the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1978, sections 436 and 437.

Accused Silver Samuel Nakanyala, Paulus Gun-Gun Tjiposa and Silvernus Karukukutu Katjiutua appeared in court on Thursday. The three were arrested last week after allegedly being found with seven heads of cattle from Otjombinde and Epukiro.

Chairperson of the Community Against Stock Theft Organisation Issy Nanda Murangi reading the petition said that this crime is mostly targeted against communal farmers in Omaheke and it has become of serious concern to farmers in the region.

‘Stock theft has become a serious concern in recent years in Omaheke, especially the communal farmers of Epukiro, Otjinene,
Aminuis and Okorukambe. Daily, cattle are being stolen and slaughtered in weird manners and transported to the urban areas during odd hours,’ he read.

According to the farmers’ petition the accused are well known repeat offenders who have been granted bails on numerous occasions, which they used to continue committing the same delinquency.

‘The suspects have numerous ongoing reported cases, yet they receive bail time and again and it allows them to commit the same crime once released. The suspects are part of a known syndicate bombarding and terrorising the Omaheke farmers with stock theft,’ the farmers charged.

‘The stock theft is grave on the livelihood of the Omaheke farmers, more seriously the communal farmers and the Namibian economy in general,’ they continued.

Receiving the petition from the farmers, State prosecutor Gift Mulenamaswe said it was good hearing from those who are on the ground and promised farmers that they were going to work on the submitted petition and give them feedback.

‘We will
look at the facts of each and every case and we will make an informed decision based on the criminal procedures, there is a certain procedure that we need to follow. But we will also consider your submission as a public and the people that are on the ground that are informing us about these types of situations,’ he said.

Source: NAMPA