BOTSWANA President Ian Khama has blamed the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the country on Zimbabwe, saying the latter had failed to meet its part of the bargain in compensating the affected farmers.
Botswana’s Daily News online reported that Khama made the remarks while addressing a meeting at Robelela in the Mmadinare constituency last Thursday.
Khama said the government was doing everything in its power to assist the affected farmers.
He, however, said not all dead cattle would be replaced as investigations would be carried out to decide which ones to replace.
Khama said cattle in the area were killed to control the spread of FMD, while others died because they were not used to the new environment.
Khama said the Botswana government was spending a lot of money in trying to control disease outbreak.
“Although most of the viruses came from Zimbabwe, the two countries had agreed to share the costs. However, at the moment Zimbabwe did not have money to pay their share and this was a problem to Botswana,” Khama said. Botswana was reportedly struggling to recover P1 million from Zimbabwe’s Cold Storage Company (CSC) for the supply of cattle under a 2011 agreement with Zimbabwe.
In July last year, the two neighbours signed a memorandum of understanding under which close to 30 000 cattle from Botswana’s foot and mouth disease-infested zones were to be slaughtered at CSC abattoirs in Bulawayo.
The two countries agreed that some of the cattle were suitable for consumption.
But the Botswana government decided to stop trading with Zimbabwe after CSC failed to remit 60% of the income generated from meat sales. Under the agreement, 20 000 cattle from the Ngamiland were to be exported to Bulawayo.