MOROTO – The Uganda People Defence Forces – UPDF 3rd Division Court Martial sitting in Moroto has sentenced five Karamojong rustlers, and remanded three sub-county chairpersons from Kaabong district over the theft of Turkana cattle.
Those sentenced are Paul Lokwang and Benson Lolem, who got 10 –year jail terms each for illegal possession of firearms used in the raids, while James Lomuria, Ngoya Lonya, and Ngorok Lomokol, was each ordered to behind bars for 18 years, for crossing into Turkana-land in Kenya to raid cows.
The LC III Chairpersons who were remanded are Christopher Lolem for Lobongia sub-county, Thomas Amodule for the Lotim sub-county, and their Kaabong East sub-county counterpart, John Bosco Lokoru.
According to the UPDF accounts, the sub-county chairpersons collaborated with cattle raid in Kaabong district to steal 242 cows from Turkana in Kenya and later branded them to destroy their evidence. The court martial chaired by Col Bernard Tuhame, remanded the three sub-county chairpersons to Moroto government prison until December 6, 2022.
“Any person who moves from the community where he or she is a resident to another and steals or attempts to steal livestock or chicken using a deadly weapon or causes death or harm, commits an offence dubbed cattle rustling and is liable for life imprisonment,” explained Col. Tuhame.
He said the military court had factored in the fact that all the animals had been recovered to determine its sentence. Tuhame noted that Kenya and Uganda are very friendly countries but a few wrong elements in the Karamojong communities have continued to antagonize the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
He recalled that the leaders from the two countries met recently and agreed to end cattle rustling but it was a shame that four days after, the people of Kaabong crossed to Turkana to raid cows.
Additional reporting by URN