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Animal thefts on the rise in Busia

Thieves are using porous border points to loot and flee with animals into Kenya. File Photo

Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least more than 50 cows have been stolen in the just ended month of May in Dabani sub county. Most affected are the villages of Buwuma “A”, Buwuma “B”, Bugunduhira, Mayombe and Nabuwambo.

According to the residents, they have resorted to sleeping outside as others do night patrols within their villages, aiming to arrest the thugs and protect their animals as the only way to curtail cases of rampant thefts in the area.

Francis Kwoba, a resident of Buwuma A village says two days ago, thugs raided his cattle and stole four cows. When they tried to follow the footprints of the stolen cows, they were going up to Kenya as the thugs use porous points in the area to cross to the neighboring country.

He appealed to the relevant authorities to help intervene in the situation to secure their domestic animals.

Laban Wandera, a resident of Dabani sub-county also says that he has lost 5 cows to thugs who have advanced from chicken theft to cattle. The animal theft in the area has turned his cattle project into a nightmare yet it’s what he had much hope in to come out of poverty.

Wandera appealed to district heads of security to come and hold security meetings in the area so that they name some people whom they suspect to have got involved in animals theft so that some legal action can take place.

Stephen Bali, the L.C 3 chairman Dabani sub-county says that both animal and poultry theft have increased in the area.

They have resolved to come up with community patrol teams and have also advised residents to share their mobile telephone numbers so that if one’s cattle is raided, they can make phone calls for immediate intervention so that they can arrest the culprits who are stealing their animals in the area.

He attributed the rampant cases of theft to high levels of poverty in the area and unemployment among youth.

Tony Odonkara, the acting Busia district police commander says that most of the animal theft cases are not being reported to police. He condemned the act and asked residents to report such cases to the nearby police stations so that they can investigate and arrest the culprits.

Odonkara attributed the rampant theft to negligence by residents for not giving enough attention to their animals. “You can find a goat or cow tied along the road and the owner leaves it to sleep there, what do you expect a thief to do with such an animal if not to automatically steal it?” Odonkara asked.

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