Tanzania to auction 10,000 cows seized from Ugandan, Rwandan herders

Tuesday November 14 2017

Tanzania to auctions cows belonging to herders from neighbouring countries.

Tanzania claims thousands of hectares of its land is being destroyed by cattle from neighbouring countries. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By The EastAfrican
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Tanzania will sell-off more than 10,000 head of cattle belonging to Ugandan and Rwandan herders that was seized after crossing the border, a minister told Parliament Monday.

Livestock and Fisheries minister Luhaga Mpina said the cattle would be auctioned in a similar manner as cows belonging to Kenyan herders were sold last month, a move that sparked a diplomatic spat between the two neighbours.

Mr Mpina made the remarks during a House debate on the national development plan for 2018/2019 financial year.

Tanzania claims thousands of hectares of its land is being destroyed by animals from neighbouring countries, putting its water sources, roads and green pastures at risk.

Mr Mpina accused herders from neighbouring countries of driving cattle into Tanzania without seeking a permit as provided for by the law.

He however said that relations between Tanzania and the other East African Community (EAC) countries were stable.

After the sell-off of 1,325 cattle last month, Kenya, through its EAC minister Phyllis Kandie, sent a letter to Tanzania saying the auctions threaten cultural harmony and integration as envisaged by the six-member states bloc.

In the letter, Kenya is asking the EAC to formulate a policy guiding relations between border communities.