Five hurt in cross-border fight over donkeys

Gaborone – At least five Zimbabwean and Batswana citizens were injured in a knobkierrie and axe battle that erupted when a large group of Batswana men crossed into Zimbabwe to recover 15 donkeys allegedly stolen from that country earlier in the same day.



The cross-border altercation took place on the Zimbabwean side of the Oliphants-Gobajango border village in the Shashe area last Thursday and left several Zimbabweans battered and bruised after locals helped the Batswana men, who recovered the donkeys and crossed back to their country with their own injured.

One alleged Zimbabwean donkey thief, who was captured by villagers, appeared at the Gwanda Magistrate’s Court facing two counts of stock theft and illegal immigration and was remanded in custody to May 5 for a continuation of the trial.

Three other members of the gang escaped arrest and are believed to have skipped the border into South Africa. Donkeys are high-value animals in Botswana where nearly 50 percent of the population consumes donkey meat.

Presently, donkeys are sold for up to P3 000 each.

In Zimbabwe, donkey meat is not used for human consumption but stock thieves sell them for up to US$200 each to smallholder farmers who use them as draught power. – IOL

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