Masvingo(The Star-New Ziana) -Masvingo City Council has threatened to shoot stray cattle that are wreaking havoc on residential and council properties.
Speaking during the latest full council meeting, mayor Collen Maboke breathed fire and said a clear message should be sent to the owners to reign in their cattle by shooting some and feeding the carcasses to crocodiles.
At a time when economic hardships have forced many residents to turn to vegetables, the cattle wrecked many garden patches, particularly in the high density suburbs of Rujeko and Mucheke.
Some of the animals stray close to the boundaries of the city centre where they foul properties and have been observed lounging on the Masvingo-Beitbridge road roundabout raising fears of road traffic accidents.
“The issue of stray animals is now out of hand. These cattle are destroying the properties of residents and of council too. Why can’t we apply to the court so that we can be given power to shoot them?” Clr Maboke asked rhetorically.
“I think the owners of these cattle are not being serious with their animals. We can shoot those stray cattle and take the meat and give it to the crocodiles.”
As the heated debate raged within the council chamber, a number of councilors accused municipal police of dereliction of duty by failing to impound the cattle.
The municipal police however, had a defender in Ward 4 councilor, Godfrey Kurauone who said it was incapacitated to deal with the stray animals let alone other policing tasks around the city.
“We cannot blame the municipal police because as council we are not providing them with sufficient equipment to carry out their duties efficiently, like transport. They don’t have transport so let us not blame the municipal police,” said Clr Kurauone.
Livestock owners from plots and farms around the city often leave their cattle to roam freely during the dry season to take advantage of better pastures especially along Mucheke and Shagashe rivers.
The animals however stray into residential suburbs and deeper into the city centre where they disrupt business.