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Negligence Aiding Cattle Thefts in Agago

Local leaders in the district reveal that unspecified heads of cattle have been stolen in recent months in several sub-counties bordering the Karamoja region from farmers who normally leave animals to graze on their own.
Animals grazing in Patongo Subcounty Agago District.

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The rampant cases of cattle theft in Agago District have been blamed on negligence by livestock farmers.

Local leaders in the district reveal that unspecified heads of cattle have been stolen in recent months in several sub-counties bordering the Karamoja region from farmers who normally leave animals to graze on their own.

Kotomor Sub-county LCV Councilor Denis Bua says although a few incidences have been registered at the onset of the rainy season this year, the period of a dry spell between December and late March accounted for a higher loss of animals in his area due to negligence.

Bua says the practice influenced by tradition has seen a surge in cattle theft orchestrated by Karimojong warriors and other organized thugs within the district.

According to Bua, between January to early April this year, over 30 cases of animal theft were registered in his sub-county majorly arising out of farmer’s negligence. 

Luo  

//cue in: “Ingeyo I kin…

Cue out:…dano pe ngeyo.”//

  English

  // Cue in: “we always cry…

Cue out:…get free things.”//

Bua says to avert the bad cultural practices and curb rising cattle theft, the sub-county in the 2017/2018 financial year drafted a by-law banning farmers from leaving their cattle to roam freely.

He however says the ordinance which was passed in the district council hasn’t been cleared by the Attorney General.

Luo

//cue in: “wa temo keto…

Cue out:…cwiny gi rac.”//

Andrew Onyuk, Agago Resident District Commissioner said that negligence by farmers to tend to their livestock or put them in kraals is fuelling cattle theft in the district. He says criminals have taken advantage of such primitive practices to loot cattle.

//cue in: “there is gross…

Cue out:…of his animal.”//

Onyuk warned livestock farmers in the district to be vigilant and act as the first line of security for their animals since security personnel can’t be deployed to protect cattle in every kraal in the district.

He says the current cattle theft can be curbed since the perpetrators mostly steal from farmers whose animals are not confined in protected kraals arguing that a few incidences have been through violent raids. 

//cue in: “This theft which…

Cue out:…steal your animal.”//

Agago LCV Chairperson Leonard Ojok admits that the vice has led to the loss of animals but notes that they are common to specific areas and only in the dry season.

He cited that the practice is common with farmers in the western sub-counties of Patongo, Lira Palwo, Lukole, Wol, and Kotomor.

According to Ojok, the current cattle theft is being motivated by the lucrative markets for cattle in Kampala and Arua Cities adding that he too fell a victim after two of his bulls were stolen by unknown men.

//cue in: “what is increasing…

Cue out:…lost two personally.”//

Agago District has witnessed a spate of cattle theft over the years mainly carried by suspected Karimojong warriors from the neighbouring Kotido District.

Although there are no official figures of stolen animals in the district, local leaders estimate more than 200 animals have been stolen in the hotspot sub-counties of Omiya Pachwa, Paimol, Adilang and Lira Kato bordering Karamoja region.  

On Tuesday, vigilant locals recovered a total of 34 cattle from Tedago village in Ogong Parish tin Kotomor Sub-county that was reportedly stolen by a herdsman from Lukole Sub-county. 

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