By Innocent Atuganyira
MASINDI: Residents of Kimengo Sub County in Masindi district have decried the increased cattle theft in their area.
The issue was raised during the engagement meeting between Masindi district leadership and the cattle keepers from Kimengo sub county held at the sub county headquarters on Monday.
According to the cattle keepers, thieves are colluding with drivers to steal their animals. The visibly angry residents also accused the security agencies of releasing the suspected cattle thieves under unclear circumstances.
”We want the suspected cattle thieves to be arraigned before court and remanded, most of them are released under unclear circumstances thus breeding the vice in the area,” they said.
The chairperson for cattle keepers in the Sub County Patrick Muhoozi revealed that there are two drivers and two men known for buying and transporting stolen cattle from the area.
”We want the security to provide us with the contact numbers of those two drivers and the traders buying stolen cattle in the area, this will help us to trace them,” he asked.
In response, Livingston Kandiho, the Officer In-Charge Masindi Police Station instead accused the residents of conniving with cattle thieves noting that no outsider can steal cattle without the support of the local residents.
He asked the cattle keepers to cooperate with the security agencies in fighting the cattle thieves in the area by providing information that can lead to the area of the criminals.
The police officer also challenged the cattle keepers to be vigilant by protecting their animals and following up the cattle theft cases they report at police stations.
The Masindi Resident District Commissioner, Emmy Ngabirano revealed that they would soon conduct joint security patrols to crackdown on the cattle thieves in the district.
”We shall soon have a joint security patrol to crackdown on the cattle thieves in the district. We therefore ask for cooperation,” he asked.
Cattle theft cases usually increase in Masindi district whenever Christmass and end of year festivities draw nearer.