'Whenever Mugisa and his men would conduct a night patrol, animals, especially cattle, would go missing on that particular night'
PIC: Cases of animal theft have posed a threat to the Operation Wealth Creation programme
KABAROLE- The Police in Fort Portal have arrested the GISO for Busoro sub-county in Kabarole district, Ali Mugisa, for his suspected involvement in the theft of cattle in the area.
Mugisa was arrested following reports by the locals claiming that he (Mugisa) was collaborating with the cattle thieves.
"The residents finger-pointed him, accusing him of using his position to aid the movement of stolen animals during the late night hours," Godiver Twinomugisha, the CID Kabarole said.
Mugisa, according to Police, has been working with 23 other home guards under his command and control.
Sabiti Mwesige, a resident of Busoro, told the New Vision that whenever Mugisa and his men would conduct a night patrol, animals, especially cattle, would go missing on that particular night.
"We suspect that Mugisa has either been aiding cattle thieves to do their work at night or he has personally been involved" Mwesige said.
Without giving details, the Police said 10 of the homeguards who have been working under the command of Mugisa have also been arrested to help Police in its investigations.
"We have also asked all the residents who have ever lost their animals to come to Police and record statements to help in our investigations," Twinomugisha said.
She suspects that the stolen animals are being sold in Kasese district while the rest are smuggled to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
At least more than three cases of animal theft are reported at the Fort Portal Main Police Station every week.
Steven Asiimwe, the Resident District Commissioner for Kabarole, has attributed the rising cases of animal theft to errant veterinary officers who issue fake animal moving permits.
"We have had several cases here in Kabarole where animals are intercepted only to find that they either have a fake movement permit or they do not posses any" Asiimwe said.
Richard Rwabuhinga, the Kabarole LC5 chairperson, says the cases of animal theft have posed a threat to the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme in the district.
"It is disappointing that some of the beneficiaries of the OWC programme have lost their animals to the thieves," Rwabuhinga said.