officer dismisses crisis as ‘non-issue’
– Masvingo Provincial Veterinary Officer Enerst
Dzimwasha has been criticised for his alleged ineffectual handling of a
tick-borne disease which is wiping entire herds of cattle in several areas
under Gutu district.
known as January Disease, has wiped entire heads in such places as Guni,
Makore, Chiwara in Gutu South and Makumbe in Gutu North.
present in such parts of Gutu West as Serima as well as Munyikwa in Gutu East though
it is not much prevalent.
these areas who spoke to TellZim News blamed poor educative communication from
the Masvingo Provincial Veterinary Office which is headed by Dzimwasha.
department for prioritising the collection of livestock tax without providing
the requisite dipping services at regular intervals.
between communities and the veterinary offices that are scattered at selected
centres in the district was largely non-existent.
cattle in this village and we have become poorer than ever before. Cattle mean
a lot for the village economy and if you take away that, you create paupers,”
said one villager under Chief Makore who lost his entire herd of seven cattle
beginning from April this year.
Serima said the Veterinary Services Department rarely supplied dipping
chemicals, a problem which they blamed for the outbreak of the tick-borne
veterinary officer, he is coming to talk about the money we must pay for every cow
in the pen. They claim that if we pay the money, they are then able to buy
chemicals so that our cattle can go to the dip tank regularly, but that is not
happening. We are just paying but we are not getting the service,” said one
villager who lost three cattle in three months.
they rarely receive information on how to keep their cattle safe in light of
the many diseases affecting livestock.
contacted for comment, he dismissed concerns about the disease saying it was
now a ‘tired’ issue.
issue which is no longer urgent. I don’t have time for that because I am busy
attending a workshop at a hotel in Bulawayo and cannot keep on talking about
those issues,” said Dzimwasha.
practitioner in Masvingo urged people to buy their own dipping chemicals and
spray their cattle.
worse as we approach the rainy season where new grazing will sprout. The ticks
thrive in good pastures. People can buy such chemicals as Butachem which can
treat affected cattle. It is also recommended that people immunise their cattle
using such chemicals as Parasite and Tick Guard,” said the vet practitioner.
Veterinary Office is located within the Division of Veterinary Field Services
under the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services in the Ministry of
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.
of the department’s listed duties include providing extension and advisory
services on good animal health care, hygiene and husbandry as well as c