‘Cattle are becoming a traffic hazard’ -Motorists, cyclists – Capital Radio Malawi
24 July, 2024

‘Cattle are becoming a traffic hazard’ -Motorists, cyclists

Motorists and cyclists have complained about herds of free roaming cattle in Karonga Town.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi Mews Agency (MANA) on Wednesday, a taxi driver, Badwin Mkandawire said the cattle are becoming a traffic hazard in the town, adding that they are causing inconveniences as commuters are being forced to wait for the cattle to cross the road.

“The situation is worse especially in the morning and afternoon when these herds are going out to feed or returning to their kraals, if at all they have any, since some cattle owners leave them to roam freely even at night,” Mkandawire said.

Bicycle taxi operator, Keston Msiska said the free roaming livestock is a major concern to them and action needs to be taken before something bad happens.

“Accidents have happened before due to cattle wandering the streets in town. It is time our council wakes up and realise this is an urban area where cattle are not supposed to be running around like in some bush,” Msiska said.

In his reaction, Karonga District Council Chairperson, Misheck Mwaijengo said the council has been engaging cattle owners over the issue but it seems they are showing disrespect.

“It is a very serious problem around town as in some cases residents wake up to find cattle sleeping on their lawns while some even go further to bring their cattle for feeding at the District Commissioners office lawn,” said Mwaijengo.

“We formulated by-laws to control this malpractice and proposed that the council should build a kraal where all cattle found roaming will be captured and kept for their owners to pay a fee of K50, 000 per cattle or risk it being confiscated,” he said.

Mwaijengo said they sent a draft copy of the by-laws to the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture for review and authorisation but the council is yet to receive feedback.

Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Local Government, Anjoya Mwanza confirmed that all councils, including Karonga submitted draft by-laws to the ministry for approval.

“Before the minister approves, by-laws undergo a review process where the Ministry of Justice goes through them to check if they are reasonable, fair and consistent internally as well as with other laws.

“In this regard, all the draft by-laws submitted by the councils are with the Ministry of Justice for the aforementioned purpose,” she said.

She appealed to Chiefs surrounding Karonga town to help the council make cattle owners aware that it is illegal to be feeding or leaving their livestock to roam freely.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, Frank Namangale could not comment on the matter as his phone could not be reached before press time.

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