National News

KATAKWI RESIDENTS IMPOUND BALAALO COWS

By Our Reporter

KAMPALA: Residents of Ongongoja sub county in Katakwi District on Wednesday impounded over 2,000 cows belonging to the Balaalo.

According to residents, they don’t want the Balaalo to graze their animals in the area since their crops are destroyed by animals and are not compensated.

With the support from the Ongongoja Sub County LC3 Chairperson Hon. William Omeke, residents set off at 7:00am, reaching Ongunga dam, they were stopped by the security so that they could resolve the issue but in vain.

The angry residents who wanted to convoy the cows to Katakwi District headquarters were again intercepted by the security to harmonize the matter since the district administration said it has no enough space to accommodate the animals.

However the residents failed to harmonize with the district officials thus prompting them to convoy the cows to the old district buildings.

The Katakwi district vice LC5 Chairperson Joseph Ecuman said this is part of the council’s resolution to withdraw the Karimojong and Balaalo from grazing in Katakwi.

The Ongongoja LC3 Chairperson said this follows the decision from the council and most importantly the pressure from the communities who say their crops are destroyed by Balaalo cows and not being paid.

However, the Katakwi Deputy Resident District Commissioner Mr. Vincent Okwi convened an emergency meeting with the DISO, DPC, VICE LC5 and few armed soldiers to forge ways of settling the matter.

They agreed that the animals be contained at Ajesai holding ground in Getom sub- county boarding Amuria district for the meantime.

What does the law say?

Cattle Grazing Act 1945 {Cap. 42}

This Act prohibits the grazing of cattle on land in respect of which there is in force an Order made by a veterinary officer or Order or Rule made by a district administration prohibiting grazing.

Article 29(2)(a) of the Constitution states that “every Ugandan shall have the right to move freely throughout Uganda and to reside and settle in any part of Uganda.” No. III of the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State policy calls for national unity, peace and stability.

What do Other community members say?

Okello Emmanuel from Kapujan sub county said that it is not right for Balaalo’s to be treated in such manner adding that the constitution permits them to settle in any part of the country.

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