MBARARA – Residents of Bubaare SubCounty in Mbarara District have petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth-Ochola, President Museveni and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations at Kibuli over the rampant theft of their cows.
In the petition, the residents accuse the police in Mbarara of mishandling investigations into cases of livestock theft.
“…Since 2017 to date, the residents have lost over 300 cows and more than 2000 goats and the most annoying thing is that the suspects are known and when they are arrested, they either get their way out at Police or court,” read the petition signed by Mr Dickens Kagarura, one of the 19 residents who reported cases of theft of their cows.
“Sir, the craziest part of this cattle rustling scam in my sub-county is that the stolen cows were loaded on lorry a kilometre away from the Police post of Anti Stock Theft Unit on 7 miles Mbarara-Ishaka Road which was established a few months back to curb the scam,” reads the complaint in part.
Mr Kagarura, who is also the chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) for Bubaare Sub County, said victims have been reporting the complaints to Mbarara Police Station and other police posts but little has been done to arrest the accused persons.
The residents requested the Police to deploy Flying Squad Unit officers to help the suspects and curb the theft and also to reprimand the officers who mishandled the investigations and others be transferred since they have overstayed on their current stations.
“This scam of stealing animals without any remedy threatens the livelihood and security of the residents and in the short run, it is going to encourage mob justice as people would seem not to be trusting the investigating and justice system. It is as if the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate soothes the criminals and that is why when they are released or when some are still in detention, the vice re-occurs,” reads part of the letter.