NAKASEKE | RedPepper Digital – Security authorities in Nakaseke District have vowed to enforce a ban on night movement of animals to check the increasing theft of livestock in the area.
On average, ten animals are stolen from different farms in Nakaseke District every week, which is blamed on unscrupulous cattle dealers from Kampala.
According to Nakaseke Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Mr Fred Bamwine, by 6pm if trucks carrying livestock have not left the district, the drivers should park and wait to resume their respective journeys the following morning.
“We are dealing with a sensitive matter where the farmers are getting demoralized by acts of cattle theft that are on the increase in Nakaseke,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
“While we implement the ban on night movement for animals, we rally all the other departments including the district veterinary department to ensure that all animals transported are cleared by the veterinary office. The village chairpersons should endorse the letters where the animals originate,” he added.
Mr Adam Ssemakula, a resident of Kinoni Sub County, who lost four cows in August 2021 when the cattle thieves raided his kraal strongly, believes that cattle theft in the area is a well-coordinated act that can only be checked through regular security patrols.
“The cattle theft acts have demoralised a number of farmers in Nakaseke that have lost their cattle as a result of the unending thefts acts. I believe that most of these animals are transported at night because theft takes place at night. Halting the night movements for animals could help check the vice,” he said.
Mr Geoffrey Kiiza Isanga, the chairperson of Ngoma Sub County, said thieves sometimes slaughter the animals at the nearby bushes and transport the beef to butcheries in Kampala.
“These acts are executed at night when the animal owners are asleep. I strongly believe that the ban on the animal night movement for purposes of checking animal theft is a welcome idea,” he said.
Nakaseke North Member of Parliament, Mr Enoch Nyongole said areas of Ngoma Town Council and the sub-counties of Ngoma, Kinoni, Wakyato and Kinyogoga are the most targeted areas where farmers continue to lose their respective animals.
“We are also rallying the farmers to remain vigilant by deploying night guards to check acts of theft.
“We need to vigorously engage all stakeholders in checking the animal theft vice that is rampant. The animals kept are for a livelihood where acts of theft negatively impact the farmer’s general livelihoods. I believe that the decision to halt night movements for the animals is the right direction,” he said.
Between January and August this year, livestock farmers in Nakaseke District lost about 80 cows to thieves with Wakyato and Ngoma sub-counties, registering the highest number of animals stolen. In the neighbouring Nakasongola District, thieves stole 254 cows and 185 goats between January and March.
Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson, Mr Isah Ssemwogerere, said the police have made regular interventions to avert acts of cattle theft and will continue to do so.
“We have regular police patrols, but rally the farmers to cooperate with the police by availing information early to help intercept the suspects. The police recently intercepted some cattle from suspects. We have had several incidents where the police have arrested suspects. We also advise the farmers to have night guards at their respective kraals to minimise acts of theft,” he said.