CRIME | HOIMA
Residents of Hoima in western Uganda have asked police and local leaders to find a solution for the rampant cattle theft in the area.
The residents are worried about the vice that has been on the rise since March this year, where animals - mostly cows - are being stolen.
Isaac Kirungi, a resident of Kigaaya village in Buhimba sub-county, whose entire herd of 20 cows was stolen early this month, argued that some farmers are now forced to sleep in the same building with their cattle, to protect their animals.
He asked the Police to intervene and investigate the thefts and bring the culprits to book. Kirungi noted that the act is likely to increase poverty and discourage people from rearing cattle.
Joyce Kabatalya, the Buseruka sub-county community development officer, said they receive complaints of cattle theft on a weekly basis.
Jane Kiiza a resident of Buhuka village in Kyangwali sub-county said her six cows, each valued at sh600,000, were stolen in October. He now sleeps in the catle kraal to protect the remaining 20 cows.
Police recetly intercepted two trucks along the Hoima-Kampala Highway transporting cattle suspected to have been stolen from Hoima.
A source the stolen cows are slaughtered and the meat transported to Kampala, where the demand is high.
Albertine region police spokesperson, Julius Hakiza, on Saturday said police had ramped up night patrols in the district.
He said police investigations reveal that in most cases, herdsmen connive with cattle thieves.
‘‘We appeal to the community leaders to work with us. Cattle keepers should report to the village secretary of defence or chairperson to register their herdsmen before employing them,'' he said. He said many cattle farmers employ strangers.