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Rukiga, Ntungamo Leaders Resolve to Auction Impounded Cattle

The decision of the leaders follows several cases and concerns among leaders about many cattle traders from Ngoma sub-county in Ntungamo district and Kamwezi sub-county in Rukiga district who illegally cross to Rwanda, buy cattle and smuggle them to Uganda.
30 Jul 2021 13:08
Uganda-Rwandan police officers on a face off at Kamwezi border of Rukiga district in 2020 (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

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Security authorities in Rukiga and Ntungamo districts have resolved to auction cattle that is being smuggled from Rwanda.

The decision was taken on Thursday during a meeting held near the Uganda-Rwanda border of Buhara in Ngoma sub-county, Ntungamo district.  It was attended by George Bakunda, Ntungamo Resident District Commissioner, Prikeria Muhindo Mwiine, Rukiga Resident District Commissioner and the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) 19th Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Nahamya, police.

The meeting follows several cases and concerns among leaders about many cattle traders from Ngoma sub-county in Ntungamo district and Kamwezi sub-county in Rukiga district who illegally cross to Rwanda, buy cattle and smuggle it into Uganda. 

George Bakunda, the Ntungamo Resident District Commissioner says that Ugandan traders camp at the Uganda-Rwanda border in Kamwezi and Ngoma sub-counties while connecting with Rwandan cattle farmers and traders. Bakunda says that Rwanda farmers and traders come with cattle and pretend to be feeding them water at the streams near the border and in the process, Ugandan traders cross to Rwanda and get the cattle through porous entry points.

Bakunda also says that Rwanda traders and farmers have gone ahead to ease the deal by establishing a daily animal market near the border a few metres to Kazinga Immigration officers Kazinga in Ntungamo district. 

Bakunda however says that the business is creating a security threat since the relations of Rwanda and Uganda are still at stake. He also says that it is insecure for Ugandans to continue crossing into Rwanda to buy cattle.

Prikeria Muhindo Mwiine, the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner says that they have resolved to intensify surveillance and operations against traders behind such acts and cattle impounded will be sold by public auction.

According to Muhindo, after the cattle has been sold, the money realized will be handed over to the sub-county where the cattle were impounded.

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Cue out: ….taken place.”//

Muhindo also says that security has agreed that the traders should only focus on buying cattle from Ugandan side since there are enough. She also says that security has ordered traders to always have a sell and buy agreement verified by the area village LCI Chairman before securing movement permits for the cattle.

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Cue out: …love ourselves.”//

Richard Tukwasiibwe, one of the cattle traders in Kamwezi sub-county says that they are forced to cross to Rwanda to buy cattle because they are cheap.  He also says that there is no need for such directives since both Rwanda and Uganda are under East African Community Integration that promotes free trade. 

In September 2020, Justus Turyareba, a resident of Konyo cell Kashekye parish Kamwezi Sub County Rukiga district was killed and his colleague identified as Bosco Nkwasibwe was seriously injured by an angry mob after they were caught stealing cattle in the neighbouring Ntungamo district.

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