KAMPALA – Police’s Directorate of Crime Intelligence – DCI has launched an investigation into the activities of several hotels, restaurants and butcher stalls in Kampala, which are linked to livestock thefts.
The decision to probe the implicated facilities stems from the arrest of three suspects believed to be part of a group that has been stealing cattle in the central region. The suspects are Deo Seidi, Francis Kimera, and another only identified as Ivan.
The trio, according to DCI, has been involved in the theft of cattle from Kyankwanzi, Hoima, Mpigi, and Mityana districts. The suspects have since provided a list of more than 20 butcheries, restaurants, and hotels – where they have been selling their meat at a fairly competitive price.
The arrest of the suspects followed a directive by President Yoweri Museveni to the IGP, Martin Ochola to reinstate checkpoints during the festive season, after cases of night crimes as well as road crashes, were soaring. Seidi, according to police, provided vitals leads after his arrest on December 23.
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, said the trio had a base in Katwe, from where they would slaughter the stolen cows, supplying beef to their customers – including renown top hotels, restaurants, and butcher.
Onyango, who declined to name the listed customers, said the group had conducted back-to-back with four different raids, targeting cattle between December 4- 23.
Police learnt later that the suspects, detained at Katwe police station had pending robbery and theft files spread across various places in Busunju, Kyankwanzi and Jeza.
The trio’s arrest came a day after the Church of Uganda – COU Archbishop Dr Samuel Kazimba condemned acts of theft during the holidays commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ in his sermon at All Saints cathedral.
Kazimba said it was sinful for someone to steal cattle and other animals or money in the guise of celebrating Christmas. He reminded Christians to use Christmas to reflect on their life’s destination.