Ntoroko Cattle Keepers Demand More Security As Cattle Thefts Increase

1773 Views Ntoroko, Uganda

In short
Police records indicate that more than 300 head of cattle have been stolen in Ntoroko district in the past six months.

Cattle Keepers in Ntoroko are demanding for increased security due to the alarming cases of animal thefts in the district. The indigenous Batuku are predominately cattle keepers as cows are their only source of household income. Police records indicate that more than 300 head of cattle have been stolen in Ntoroko district in the past six months. The cattle thefts are rampant in Rwebisengo and Karugutu sub counties.  
The cows are stolen and loaded onto trucks at night for transportation to Bundibugyo district and the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. Benjamin Mujungu, a cattle keeper in Karugutu Sub County says that he lost 40 cows to armed gunmen who raided his kraals in two separate attacks. Mujungu says that he was left with a few cows to sell, which has affected his income.
According to Mujungu, they have filled several complaints with the police, but nothing has been done to stem the thefts.  Moses Mwesige another pastoralist blames local leaders for abetting cattle thefts.
Mwesige faults officials from the veterinary department and LC1 chairpersons, who issue animal travel permits to people including thieves. He also says there isn't any single police post in the area, which is an advantage for the cattle thieves.

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Wilber Baguma, the chairperson Ntoroko cattle keepers association says they have often requested the police to introduce road blocks and night patrols to check the vice in vain. Baguma says that it is frustrating to see some of the suspected animal thieves relives on bond only to start from where they had stopped.
Bosco Bakashaba,the Ntoroko district police commander however says they are faced with a challenge of staff shortage and logistics to address the animal theft. He says their work is hindered by the police patrol vehicles which often break down during operations. He also says that there are plans to set up police posts in areas where cattle thefts are common.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.