Kotido, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The army and police have launched a joint operation to hunt down armed thugs behind the death of a prominent businessman in Kotido district. Peter Toyon, a reformed cattle rustler was shot dead at around 9pm on Friday night while riding his motorcycle from Kotido town to his home in Panyangara sub-county, Kotido district.
Moses Akena, the Kotido District Police Commander confirmed the incident describing it as unacceptable. According to Akena, the people who killed Toyon are known by the community but non of the community members has come out to help the police.
“These warriors were seen making plans to kill the deceased and we are hunting for them seriously,” he said. Joseph Lokoru, a resident of Panyangara says that the deceased has been a prominent businessman in the area who had recruited many other reformed cattle rustlers into the livestock business.
He said the rustlers have been suspecting the deceased of coordinating with security to deal with armed rustlers. “We have lost a man who had made every reformed rustler become a trader,” he said.
Last year, suspected rustlers shot dead a prominent peacemaker on suspicion that he was revealing the names of armed rustlers to security. Betty Lemukol, another resident said after shooting the deceased, the armed rustlers took off leaving the deceased with his motorcycle lying helpless.
“I could not run to help him because I also feared for my dear life but those people who killed him are well known and they even drink every day at Panyangara centre,” she said. Moses Koilibi, the chairperson of the peace committee of Napumpum, said Kotido has become more insecure compared to other areas of Karamoja.
“The situation in Kotido is now beyond control, people don’t move freely as it used to be because the rustlers seem to be taking over Kotido town,” he said. Kolibi said the current insecurity makes their work as chairpersons difficult because some of the chairpersons be it LC 1 or peace chairpersons are on the list for elimination by the rustlers.