Nakasongola, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Nakasongola District Security Committee has resolved to establish a military detachment in Kalongo sub-county to fight rampant animal thefts.
According to Nakasongola district authorities, between 10 to 20 heads of cattle are stolen each day in Nakasongola and sold in Kampala city. The police crime report for 2020, ranked Nakasongola the seventh district leading in cattle thefts across the country.
Retired Lieutenant Sam Kigula, the LCV chairperson of Nakasongola district says that the cattle are stolen from pastoralists and transported to Kampala city through feeder roads as well as the Kampala-Gulu highway.
Kigula says that a major hotspot is Kaleire road intersection comprising of four roads that enables the thieves to connect to Lwampanga, Kakooge, Kalungi sub-counties, and Luwero district before transporting the animals to Kampala city.
Kigula says that the District Security Committee has since resolved to set up a detachment at the Kaleire road intersection to monitor movements and apprehend cattle thieves that use it to beat-up surveillance in other areas.
Phillip Mukasa ,the Nakasongola District Police Commander says that the detachment will be manned by the Police and Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers.
Mukasa says that Kaleire road intersection has been a conduit for most cattle thefts in the district and the deployment will curtail the crime.
Sunday Rogers Bwanga, the District Speaker and Councilor for Kalongo sub-county say that the establishment of the detach was also a result of repeated petitions by residents seeking more deployment to stop the thefts.
Bwanga says that a police post that was earlier opened two kilometers away from the junction has been ill-equipped to stop the thieves.
In other strategies to stop the rampant thefts, the District Security Committee also banned traders from loading cattle from kraals but advised them to buy them only in gazetted markets.
Traders and pastoralists were also directed to sign sale agreements which must be used to apply for movement permits of animals to other areas.
Last week, police revealed that in the period of one month, at least 59 suspected thieves had been arrested and 34 charged over cattle thefts.
According to District Veterinary Office, there are 266,791 cattle, 118,042 pigs, 125,078 goats, and 12,640 sheep.
However, the rampant thefts are likely to demoralize pastoralists from rearing more animals.