By Wetondo Denis Julius
Criminals suspected to be hailing from Sironko district in the Bugisu sub region last week sneaked into Kenya and made off with over 100 cows.
The criminals crossed to Western Kenya from where they stole the cows before bringing them to Sironko district and hiding them in Mt. Elgon National Park in Sironko.
However, in a joint ongoing security operation between Police and Uganda Wildlife Authority, four (4) of the stolen animals have been recovered and sent back to Kenya.
According to Isaac Lulaba, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Sironko, while speaking to this reporter, he got a letter from Lepsokonyi police station in Kenya requesting him to help them in recovering their animals which were stolen and hidden in Mt Elgon National Park in Sironko district.
He adds that he has instructed the Sironko District Police Commander (DPC) and Uganda Wildlife Authority of Sironko to start operations at Mt Elgon national park where the animals have been hidden.
“During the operation, we have so far recovered four animals and handed them to Kenya authorities. We have also arrested four suspects from Sironko district who were behind the theft and they are now being detained at Sironko central police station.” Lulaba revealed.
The RDC however declined to reveal the names of the suspects saying that it may jeopardize the investigations since the operations are still ongoing.
However, he asked the LCIs and IIIs to arrest anybody found moving with animals especially during night hours without clear recognized documents as we head to Christmas festive season.
James Wagabale, the LCI chairperson from Zesui Sub County neighboring the Mt Elgon national park in Sironko district says that they are facing challenges as local leaders in curbing cattle theft in the area because most of the thieves have guns that need police to handle them.
“Just last month, over ten animals of my residents were stolen and taken to Kenya,” he said.
Stephen Madoyi a resident from Bugitimwa Sub County in Sironko district also urged police to do night patrols such that they curb the thefts as they head to Christmas time.