Zimbabwe Fails To Pay Botswana For 30 000 Cattle Bought During Mugabe’s Era, Botswana Fuming.
21 May 2019
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Own Correspondent|Zimbabwe has not paid back it’s debt to Botswana that dates back as far as 2012 during former President Robert Mugabe’s era for the sale of livestock they sold them.

This was all revealed in the Auditor General’s report for the 2018/2019 financial year that was released last week that Zimbabwe still owes Botswana a total sum of P1 239 000 for that livestock sale that took place.

For the debt that has been outstanding for almost seven years, it appears that the neighbouring country Zimbabwe is struggling and has not made any effort in settling the debt it owes Botswana.

The livestock sale transaction happened back in 2012 following an agreement that was signed by the two countries, the previous year for the sale of the live cattle from the Foot and Mouth Diseases (FMD) areas such as Ngamiland.

Under the signed agreement over 30,000 live cattle were sold to Zimbabwe for slaughter, through a Cold Storage Company (CSC), a development which brought hope to Ngamiland farmers who had been struggling to sell their cattle to local slaughterhouses.

According to details of the report, the Botswana government extended its export deal of live cattle to Zimbabwe for an indefinite period, four years ago, as Botswana grappled with foot-and-mouth disease in the north and east regions.

The deal between the two governments involved sending live cattle from Botswana to Zimbabwe’s CSC slaughter facilities in Bulawayo.

The deal was largely seen as some respite to the Botswana Meat Corporation, since the European Union had stopped beef importsfrom Botswana due to the foot and mouth disease outbreak.

Zimbabwe and other African countries seized the opportunity to buy cattle from Botswana.

CSC has a huge debt of close to $22 million and has seen production going down to around 10% of capacity.

The company was at one time the largest meat processor in Africa, handling up to 150 000 tonnes of beef and associated by-products each year and exporting to the European Union.

CSC is reportedly left with just 700 cattle and more than $80 million is needed to bring the company back to its feet.