Katakwi Security Committee Moves To Settle Cattle Thefts, Land Conflicts

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Katakwi District Security Committee has launched a program of reactivating sub-county security committees following rampant cases of cattle theft and land conflicts. 

The District Security Committee chaired by Katakwi Resident District Commissioner (RDC), John Stephen Ekoom began the sub-county security committee meetings in Ngariam County on Tuesday. Similar meetings will be held in Usuk and Toroma Counties.

The district security committee is meeting leaders at various levels right from the village. They include among others LC 1, LC 2 and LC 3 chairpersons, parish chiefs, senior chief administrative officers-SACAOs, opinion leaders and Gombolola Internal Security Officers-GISOs.

Ekoom notes that the meetings are meant to empower the leaders to execute their roles and responsibilities. He says that they cannot fight cattle thefts without sensitising LC I chairperson on the usage of the stamps they received from the Government recently.

Betty Abur Akumu, the Katakwi District Works Secretary, says resident intercepted four Karamojong cattle rustlers who raided Obulejet area last week. Akumu, who doubles as the Palam Sub-County LC-V female councillor, says that residents find it difficult to expose collaborators, who are very well known to them. She says that a mobile phone belonging to a warrior containing the numbers of suspected local collaborators was picked recently in Magoro Sub County.        

William Omeke, the Ongongoja Sub County LC 3 Chairperson has asked Karamojong herdsmen in their area to prepare to return to their ancestral land with their animals because rains have returned. He says cattle thefts increase in the sub county whenever the herdsmen from Karamoja come to graze their animals during the dry season.

The UPDF 3rd Division commander, Brig. Joseph Balikuddembe, said the cattle raids are well-planned. Balikuddembe noted that buyers hide in bushes ready to ferry animals on trucks with specific plans to destroy evidence and exhibits. He revealed that the UPDF has since 2018 recovered 56 guns and 5,757 animals. In 2019, 66 guns and 6,960 head of cattle were recovered by the army.

In 2020, they recovered 151 guns and 16,544 animals. The 2019 Police annual crime report indicates that 7,665 cases of cattle theft were reported countrywide compared to 7,161 cases reported in 2018.    

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