Cattle Keepers in Ntoroko district are blaming the rampant cattle theft in the district to police inefficiency. The indigenous Batuku in Ntoroko district, are predominately cattle keepers and the cattle is their only source of income to the households.
Cattle Keepers in Ntoroko district are blaming the rampant cattle theft in the district on police inefficiency. The indigenous Batuku in Ntoroko district, are predominately cattle keepers and the cattle is their only source of income to the households. The thefts are common in Rwebisengo and Karugutu sub counties. The stolen cattle are put on trucks and transported to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Bundibugyo district.
Last year, following complaints from the cattle keepers, police was deployed and road blocks set up along the Ntoroko- Bundibugyo road to stop the thefts, but up to now the thefts are still going on. Statistics at the veterinary department show that since the beginning of this year, over 100 heads of cattle have been stolen from Ntoroko district. The cattle thefts have affected traders from Fort Portal and Kasese who go to the three major cattle markets in Karugutu, Rwebisengo and Rwangara to purchase cattle.
The cattle markets are now attracting a few traders because the traders have not cattle to sell. David Mwamba, a cattle keeper from Karugutu Sub County says that his 25 heads of cattle were stolen in a space of two weeks but they have not been traced. Mwamba says that he is surprised that such a big number of cattle can be stolen and the thieves not apprehended by the police despite the presence of road blocks and police patrols.
He alleges that some cattle thieves may be conniving with the police, who allow them transport the cattle. Nelson Banura, a cattle keeper says that his15 heads of cattle were stolen in a space of two months and he is left with no source of income. Banura says that when they report the cases to the police because they are not cooperative but instead accuse the cattle keepers of being careless.
But Ebyagambire Emmanuel, the district police commander Ntoroko says that police is short of staff to carry out patrols in Karugutu and Rwebisengo. He also says their work is hindered by the police patrol vehicle which often breaks down.
He says that although police is accused of being negligent, it has managed to recover 20 heads of cattle in Bundibugyo district, which had been stolen from Rwebisengo Sub County. Ebyagambire however blames the district veterinary department for not issuing out cattle permits for cattle movement.