MOROTO – Leaders from Karamoja and Teso sub regions have raised a red flag over the escalating acts of illegal trading in livestock.
The leaders claim that the trade had led to the rebirth of cattle theft from both regions – thereby frustrating efforts to recover the stolen animals.
Paul Lokol – the LCV chairperson for Nabilatuk revealed that the communities were engaging in the illegal trade of livestock with some cattle dealers stationed in bushes while others were operating from unregulated markets.
Lokol said that the illegal cattle trade was booming – hence the need to tighten-up policies regarding dealing in such animals as a way of minimising losses.
“I think we should become tough on animal trade – because we are losing a lot through livestock trade. I am planning of of closing markets in Nabilatuk until a permanent solution is found,” said Lokol. He added that cows were being stolen from Amudat district and sold in Nabilatuk in either markets or through transactions staged in bushes – before the same would ferried to Teso.
Francis Akorikin – the LCV chairperson for Kapelebyong said that in most cases, cattle dealers were transporting animals without authentic movement permits. He pointed out that there were some village chairpersons who were aiding cattle thefts – through the issuance of fake movement permits to the traders in this illegal business.
Akorikin warned such chairpersons to desist from the act or else trouble awaited them.
Geoffrey Omolo – the LCV chairperson for Katakwi noted that the challenge of cross-district cattle theft and illegal trade had persisted over time – the need for stakeholders to come up with a common ground to curb the vice.
Omolo said traders were used to the system of acquiring animals, cheaply from the community – and can afford to access any village chairperson for a movement permit without establishing the background of the purchased animals.
The ASTU Commander, Elias Kassirabo noted that illegal livestock markets existed, majorly in Amudat district. He said all three livestock markets in Amudat were not observing operational guidelines, issued to streamline the trade.
Kassirabo noticed that people have been driving animals to the markets and selling them without any documentation because they were believed that adhering to the set regulations regarding the cattle trade was unnecessary.
He also echoed that the cattle dealers were conniving with district veterinary officers to acquire fake movement permits – complicating the work of security in detecting stolen animals.
In 2022, police profiled all the livestock markets across the Karamoja sub-region in a bid to regulate cattle business.