KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has ordered the Ministry of Security to explain why people of cattle keeping community from western Uganda, commonly known as Balaalo are using the lockdown to illegally settle in some parts of the country with their herds of cattle without being restricted.
Speaker Kadaga’s directive followed a complaint raised by Aswa County MP, Reagan Okumu during Wednesday’s plenary sitting, revealing that the balaalo are increasingly illegally traveling to Gulu and Nwoya districts at night with their cows, saying that in some cases, some of the pastoralists steal cows of the local community.
“Before the people take the law in their hands, because our people aren’t going to wait, they will have to defend themselves and Chase away these people who don’t own land, but they want to invade our areas. We want to ba safe from Coronovirus, but we also don’t want to be invaded during time of difficulty,” said Okumu.
Okumu’s accusations were further amplified by Elijah Okupa (Kasilo County) saying that the Balaalo are bribing local councils and security officers to travel with cows to the areas of their interest yet the country is under COVID-19 lockdown and curfew.
The accusations prompted Kadaga to order government to come to Parliament with a statement explaining the matter.
She said, “I thought there was a curfew in this country. Who is exempt from the curfew? Government should tell us because I am indoors by 6:30Pm and I am a senior person in this country, so who are these moving at night?”