Police in Nakasongola district have recovered 98 herds of cattle that were being stolen by the herdsmen.
At least 51 of these were recovered from a piece of land belonging to Kaweweta Army Barracks in Nakaseke district, where they were taken by a group of herdsmen who had reportedly stolen them from a farm Kyamasanda village in Kakooge sub-county, Nakasongola district.
Nakasongola Deputy Resident District Commissioner Jonathan Akwateireho says that the herdsmen took advantage of the manager’s absence to walk away with the herd.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the herdsmen had earlier hired land in Nakaseke and built a kraal as part of the ploy.
However, the herdsmen were arrested after wandering into Kaweweta Army Barracks while struggling to lead the cattle to their hired land.
Another herd of 47 cattle was also intercepted at Lugogo river as they were being taken to Nakaseke after herdsmen stole them from Katuugo town.
Nakasongola District Chairman Sam Kigula explains that in the second case, thieves compromised herdsmen and paid them to move the entire herd by foot in disguise that they were grazing to the nearby district where they could load them on trucks for sale in cattle markets.
Kigula says that in the two cases the herdsmen were unsuccessful after residents saw a large herd crossing the districts and alerted the police.
He adds that the new wave of theft is easy to execute because several farm managers and owners spend days without visiting their herds a loophole that enables the herdsmen to steal them.
Police in Nakasongola has since arrested herdsmen Eric Ruhinda and Allan Kiiza for theft of the cattle.
Brians Ampaire, the Nakasongola District Police Commander says that after Policemen heightened security on the Kampala-Gulu highway and feeder roads, thieves now connive with herdsmen to transport the cattle by foot through access roads and farms.
Ampaire asked communities to be vigilant and alert authorities about any suspected cattle movement.
Since this year began, Police in Nakasongola have arrested over 70 suspected cattle thieves but the theft cases are still rampant.
According to a Police crime report, 113 cases of cattle thefts were reported in Nakasongola in 2011 and the district ranked in the eighth position with the highest cases across the country.