Livestock theft worries farmers in greater Mbarara

MBARARA, October 24, 2023 – Farmers in districts that form greater Mbarara are spending sleepless nights in the kraals guarding their animals against thieves who have invaded the area.

For instance, Samson Kasasira, the police publicist for Rwizi region, said they are holding a man suspected of stealing nine goats from different homesteads in Insingiro district.

Kasasira said the rescued goats were being ferried in a Toyota Premio registration number UBD 345E. “The vehicle was found loaded with nine goats and one suspect identified as Ssebagara Kutaayo a resident of Kakunyu cell Rwekuubo ward Isingiro town council was arrested,” he said, adding that two other suspects are on the run.

Kasasira said animal theft in the area happens during the period leading to the festive season. He warned the general public and farmers to remain vigilant, saying police would intensify their operations to catch the livestock thieves.

The car that was impounded while carrying stolen goats (Photo by Joshua Nahamya).

“Be vigilant and report anyone you come across that is not well known in your villages because these people first come to monitor the security situation before stealing your animals from your farms. As police, we are here to protect you and your animals but our manpower is not enough and police cannot be everywhere unless you cooperate with us,” he said.

Meanwhile, John Bosco Bamuturaki, the former chairman LCV Mbarara district while launching a new branch of Rwanyamahembe SACCO in Kyenshama trading centre, Kashare Sub-county warned the public against lynching criminals in a bid to deter others from stealing animals.

He said that government has empowered people to work and get wealth but thieves are failing them by stealing hard-earned wealth such as livestock.

“Criminals were used to court and relatives stand as sureties for them for release. Now we get you, beat you to death that’s the end” he said.

Bamuturaki warned the cattle thieves and urged local leaders to boost security in the area, saying it would discourage the cattle thieves.

The stolen goats in a Toyota Premio (Photo by Joshua Nahamya).

He said that when thieves take people’s wealth it is hard for them to save money in the banks and SACCOs.

Moses Mwebaze Kabunduguza, a livestock farmer in Rwanyamahembe Kashari told this reporter that thieves have so far stolen his three heifers within a space of two weeks.

“You think we can now sleep? As we are busy planning how to improve our farms, thieves are also planning how to steal our animals. Recently I lost my three heifers worth about Shs 4 million,” Kabunduguza said.

The area police say from January 2023 to June 2023, 400 cases of animal theft took place in the cattle corridor districts of Isingiro, Kiruhura, Kazo, Mbarara, Ntungamo, and Ibanda.

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