By Ambrose Kweronda
Security authorities in Rukiga and Ntungamo districts have resolved to auction cattle that are 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.
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 said that Ugandan traders camp at the Uganda-Rwanda border in Kamwezi and Ngoma sub-counties while connecting with Rwandan cattle farmers and traders.
Bakunda added 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 noted that Rwanda traders and farmers have gone ahead to ease the deal by establishing a daily animal market near the border a few meters to Kazinga Immigration officers Kazinga in Ntungamo district.
Bakunda however explained that the business is creating a security threat since the relations of Rwanda and Uganda are still at stake.
Prikeria Muhindo Mwiine, the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner said 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.
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 neighboring Ntungamo district.