By Patrick Okino and Bonny Odongo
ABOUT 100 Balaalo (herdsmen) from Bulisa district have moved to Amolatar and Apac districts with about 10,500 head of cattle.
According to the local authorities, the herdsmen were grazing their animals at the Maruzi Government Ranch in Apac, Acii and Kikondo parishes.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday at Aberidwogo village in Maruzi county, Richard Ogwang Odyero, the former Ibuje LC5 chairperson, who is also the district NRM chairman, said the herdsmen moved by ferry at Akokoro and paid sh1, 000 per animal.
â€œThey are conniving with the local councillors and ferry owners at Akokoro to cross into the district,â€ he said.
Odyero was concerned that the animals would spread diseases to cattle in the Government ranch and that the residents would face food shortages if the herdsmen were not evicted.
He said this was the third time the Balaalo were moving into the ranch and the nearby areas looking for pastures for their animals.
Nelson Chong, the speaker of Amolatar district, said about 50 herdsmen had illegally crossed into the district with about 500 animals.
â€œWe are planning a meeting to address the issue because residents have started panicking. The herdsmen are increasing daily yet we have no free land.â€
He added that the balaalo were hiring land for grazing their animals from the local councils.
President Yoweri Museveni on July 19 said the only obligation by the Government to the Balaalo was to sensitise them to abandon their nomadic practices.