KIKUUBE-Residents in Buhimba town council and Buhimba Sub-county council in Kikuube district are spending sleepless nights over the rising cases of theft of livestock. The night thieves mainly target cattle, goats, and pigs.
Musa Mugisa, the mayor of Buhimba town council said that many cows have so far been stolen since the beginning of this year, leaving farmers heartbroken as the animals are one of their major sources of livelihood.
Speaking during a meeting organised by Kikuube district security committee to address the increasing insecurity in the area, Mugisa said that the growing theft of livestock is pushing farmers back to poverty.
He said that several farmers have abandoned the rearing of livestock since they fear losing them to thieves suspected to be selling the stolen animals in Kampala.
Kasanga Bigirwa, the Buhimba Sub-county district councilor said that apart from the theft of animals, burglary, drugs abuse, and theft of food and chicken are taking place in the area.
He blamed the increasing criminality in the area on the youth who spend most of their time gambling.
He said that there is a high influx of strangers who he suspected could be behind the insecurity in the area.
Robert Mpanimanya, the deputy mayor of Buhimba town council said that since the anti-livestock theft police unit was withdrawn from the area, theft of animals increased.
He noted that the situation has been worsened by the lack of enough security personnel at Kyabatarya police post, adding that the few police officers at the police post can’t handle the security of two local government units.
He noted that 20 cows and 50 goats have been stolen only in Buhimba town council in the space of five months. He noted that recently Kasiima Mutabazi a resident of Buhimba -Mabaale lost three cows, Charles Karori, a resident of Buhimba east cell lost two cows, George Kyamanywa lost two cows and three goats while Kambagambe Erisa three cows.
Erisa Kabagambe one of the affected residents explained that last year he lost two cows to the thugs, adding that unfortunately last month thugs returned and took his two cows
He said that many people have lost their source of income to the thugs, adding that residents have for several times arrested suspects but police realize them before taking them to court.
He also blamed the increasing criminality on the laxity of security and bar owners who operate at night where the thugs keep themselves before going for their mission.
Kikuube RDC Amlan Tumusiime said the theft of livestock is rampant, adding that the theft of livestock is a national concern that needs a concerted effort.
He ordered the chairpersons of villages to start registering residents and new entrants in their areas.
He also blamed the office of the State Attorney for doing the security disservice alleging that police has for several times arrested suspects caught with suspected stolen cows and goats but they get released on claims that there is no evidence to pin the suspects.
He also ordered for closure of betting centers that operate illegally in the area and also asked the local leadership to ensure that the bars do not operate beyond midnight.
He promised to write to the Inspector General of Police to redeploy officers of the anti-livestock theft police in the area.
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