Government has vowed to compensate all farmers in Mashonaland East province who lost their herd to January Disease in the past rainy season.

Farmers, mainly in Wedza, Chikomba and Goromonzi districts, were left counting losses after the disease, also known as Theileriosis, killed thousands of cattle. Some were left without a single beast.

Speaking to Zanu PF supporters in Marondera recently, Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Appollonia Munzverengi said plans were afoot to compensate the farmers.

“A lot of farmers lost their cattle due to the January Disease and government is aware of that. Currently, there are plans to compensate those who lost their heads. Once
everything is finalised, the farmers will be receiving the cattle. Government is seized with replenishing the national herd, hence we are happy that the farmers will get
something,” she said.

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According to government statistics, about 50 000 cattle across the country died due to Theileriosis in the 2017-2018 rainy season. About 5 000 cattle died in Mashonaland East
province alone.

Theileriosis, prevalent between December and March, is most common in January, hence the name January disease. The disease is spread by the brown tick and caused by non-dipping
of livestock.

A number of dip tanks in the province are in a dilapidated state, with farmers struggling to purchase chemicals to spray or dip their cattle.