Cattle keepers in Apac District are crying foul after unknown people stole more than 1,000 head of cattle from their homes during the festive season.
Mr Peter Obong Acuda, the Apac District speaker, said more than 500 head of cattle were stolen from Akokoro, while 312 and 182 were stolen from Apoi and Ibuje sub-counties, respectively.
“It is now a security concern but I have on several occasions requested our district police commander to go for a security meeting in Awila Parish (Akokoro Sub-county) to handle cases of cattle theft in vain,” he told Daily Monitor on Wednesday.
Mr Robert Atim, a resident of Edep Village in Akokoro Sub-county, said he has lost 57 head of cattle, which were stolen from his kraal around Christmas.
An unknown pastoralist, a resident of Rwakisaza Village, Kungu Parish in Akokoro Sub-county, also reportedly disappeared with 10 cows belonging to his friend on December 21.
The officer-in-charge of Ibuje Police Station, Mr Christopher Ungu, said 29 cases of theft of cattle were registered at the station in December alone.
Of these, only seven cattle were recovered and no suspect has been arrested.
“The problem is that most cattle keepers leave their animals to loiter freely around trading centres, churches and in schools; making them accessible to thieves,” he said.
Mr Philip Mukasa, the Apac District police commander, said very few cases of theft were reported to Apac Central Police Station and investigations are ongoing.
“One suspect has since been arrested. The suspect was taken to court and has since been remanded to Atopi prison in Apac,” Mr Mukasa said.
Apac District. This is not the first time cattle are stolen from Apac District. In 2016, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) distanced itself from claims that an armed group dressed in uniform similar to that of the army looted more than 250 heads of cattle from the same district.
Instead, the army accused the community of stealing government cattle kept at Maruzi ranch.