The Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Major General Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi has ordered for deployment of additional policemen in the Savannah Region to curb the rampant theft of animals.

According to the Police Crime report, at least 163 cases of cattle thefts were reported in Nakasongola district and 113 cases of cattle thefts were registered in Nakaseke district in the year 2023. Scores of cattle have been stolen from Luwero district.

On Thursday, Katsigazi rushed to Savannah Region and convened a security meeting to discuss how to end the thefts.

The meeting that was held at Luwero Diocese Guest House included area commanders from the Police Force, Prison Service, and Uganda People’s Defense Force. Others were local leaders, Intelligence Officers, magistrates, and State Attorneys among other officers.

Erastus Kibirango the LCV Chairman of Luwero District told Katsigazi that several residents who acquired loans under the Parish Development Model-PDM program to invest in animal rearing are crying foul after many were stolen.

Kibirango explained many thieves raid kraals at night and steal cattle before they transport them to abattoirs in Kampala city.

Kibirango added that the thieves have formed cartels that are connected to top government officials to help them secure releases from Police cells.

Samuel Mwesigwa the LCIII Chairman of Kinyogogga sub-county in Nakaseke said that even Policemen fear cattle thieves and release them immediately after getting calls from top government officials.

Enock Nyongore the Nakaseke North Member of Parliament told IGP that several unpatrolled routes in the communities make it easy for thieves to steal and transport cattle to the markets.

The Police Commanders told the IGP that apart from the inadequate manpower to patrol the areas, the magistrates have frustrated the fight against cattle theft by granting bail and dismissing cases against known thieves.

But the Luwero Chief Magistrate Mariam Nalujja Ssemwanga defended the release of accused persons saying that complainants don’t turn in courts to testify.

Nalujja instead accused Policemen of settling many cases of cattle theft at the Station and failing to present them to courts.

“In cases where we have evidence about habitual offenders, we have given them harsh sentences. Let Police and Local leaders give us that evidence, we shall deal with such suspects” Nalujja said.

While responding to the concerns, Katsigazi ordered for deployment of more Policemen and equipment to intensify patrols in hotspots to curb animal thefts.

Katsigazi also reiterated the directives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries that banned transportation of animals at night to fight thefts.

Katsigazi asked the leaders and commanders to present a list of government officials who deal with thieves so that he could deal with them or notify President Yoweri Museveni.

He also warned Policemen against profiting in cattle and land cases saying these will be dismissed if they are reported.

There are 978 Policemen spread in the entire Savannah Region comprising of Luwero, Nakaseke, and Nakasongola districts.

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