By Spy Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni who has spent almost full week in pursuit of peace in Eastern and Northern region following the re-emergency of cattle rustling is taking drastic measures to handle the crime that is mutating daily and threatening to wipe out gains made in security and development in the nine districts of Karamoja and the neighbouring Eastern and Northern regions.
He says, ”We are changing the commanders in the area because I think some have been colluding with the rustlers to heighten the problem,” he said.
During the security briefing ahead of the meeting with the Acholi and Lango leaders, President Museveni was informed that the cattle rustling had turned commercial with rustlers collaborating with other actors including security operatives to sell animals that have been rustled. The issue of cattle thefts, especially in Acholi region was also on the rise, and according to reports, the Police canine unit has been vital in fighting the vice but is limited.
“”Whether day or night, we are going to end this cattle rustling. There is something the Police has not exploited, the canine unit for cattle thefts. I can see why some government programmes don’t perform. When seniors don’t supervise, what do you expect,” he said referring to reports that the region has only one canine unit and that requests to Police headquarters to beef it up have remained unanswered.
President Museveni later announced various stringent measures designed to end, once and for all, the indiscipline of cattle rustling in the country including installing more CCTV cameras at check points including at Karuma, Paara and Masindi Port Ferry to monitor cows being moved from the North to the South and in the region and the use of digital markings of all vehicles that will be centrally monitored.
“I can assure you, that by combining this ancient and modern methods, we are going to end cattle rustling. A cattle rustler will see a gun but not touch it,” he vowed.
He said the measures will allow soldiers who are in operations to apprehend wrong characters found in possession of fire arms, bows and arrows, sticks for driving the animals or those suspected to be involved in cattle rustling. He said the use of police canines would also be intensified.
The President stressed the need to guide wanainchi on proper enterprise selection in relation to land holding per family strongly recommending intensive agriculture for those with 4 acres of land.
“We strongly recommend coffee because of its global demand which is still growing, fruits, diary cows, poultry, piggery and fish farming at the periphery of the swamps. Do not grow rice in the middle of the swamps because we need the water,” he said.
Museveni said that families with huge chunks of land can go in for extensive farming especially for crops like cotton, maize and sugar cane among others.
The President at this juncture invited leaders from the region to visit his demonstration farm at Baralege and convey the message from the farm to people in their areas that will help them get out of poverty.
“Leaders must see for the people. You have a vast experience of what is happening in the world like Europe that changed through agricultural revolution,” he said.
Commenting on the concerns raised by the leaders of the 2 sub-regions of Lango and Acholi, President Museveni noted that all the socio-economic requests by leaders require funds adding that with proper budgeting in Parliament and prioritization of programs, all those needs would gradually be met including infrastructure development, power extension, hospital expansion, school enrollment etc as not all of them can be fulfilled at once.
“We can not solve everything at once. Many of the issues raised here are issues that need money. Many of you know the budget, you should know that everything you talk about needs money. Listen to my advise on budgeting. When you listen to my advise achievements are made,” he said.
On the issue of the Akii Bua Stadium, President Museveni pledged the prioritization of Akii Bua and Muhinga National Stadiums to promote sports.
“We need at least those two; Akii Bua and Muhinga incase of competitions. We have only Namboole,” he said.