Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mbarara city security committee has resolved to close seven slaughter slabs as one of the measures to fight the increasing cattle thefts. The affected include Kiboona, Kikoona, Mile itano, Kakiika, Kichwamba, Matojo, and Nyakayojo abattoirs, which are spread in Mbarara City Southern and Northern Divisions.
Moses Aruho, the Deputy Resident City Commissioner of Mbarara City South Division, says the security committee decided to close the small slaughter slabs following a public outcry about animal thefts, especially in his division.
He says their investigations and some of the slaughter slab owners directly pointed at the small slaughter slabs for fueling the animal thefts, and supply of uninspected meat to butchers since they are easily accessed by traders.
He advises traders and butchers to use the recognized privately owned abattoir in Ruti or the government-owned Kekombe slaughter slab.
Aruho says that the decision was taken to help both the City Veterinary office and the security agencies with easy monitoring.
Juma Abedi, the Chairperson of Mbarara City Central Market Meat Traders Association has welcomed the idea noting that the small slaughter slabs have affected the price of meat in the city compared to other areas. He says a kilogram of beef at Ruti and Kekombe abattoirs costs 13000 and goat Shillings 16,000, while those that get it from the small slaughter slabs sell it at less than Shillings 10,000 for beef and 12,000 for goat.
Steven Ndyanabo KY, a meat trader says the small slaughter slabs help decongest the two abattoirs and also save the traders on the transportation of cattle to the distant abattoirs.
Patrick Darius Irumba, a cattle trader says that closing the slaughter slabs will not solve the problem because there is free trade and movement of goods. He explains that traders are free to get meat from Kiruhura and Isingiro to Mbarara city.
Richard Mugisha, the Deputy Mbarara City Clerk said he had not yet recieved a brief on the resolution. Hassan Musooba, the Mbarara City South Division Police Commander says cattle theft has long been a concern, especially in Rwakishakizi and Nyakayojo villages, noting that it has been topping the crimes in every village meeting.
Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson says at least two cases of cattle thefts are reported at different police stations weekly around the region. According to the 2021 annual crime report, Isingiro district topped the list of most cattle thefts with 138 cases in the western cattle corridor followed by Kiruhura with 137 and Ntungamo with 112 cases.