Traders and farmers in Katuna town council, Kabale District, have decried the rampant cases of theft.
The traders and farmers claim that their merchandise, crops and animals are normally stolen at night. Thieves allegedly cross the border and sell them in neighbouring Rwanda.
Locals say most of the thieves cross to the area from Rwanda during the day pretending to have come to Uganda to drink alcohol and during the night they allegedly start breaking into people’s houses and shops and stealing anything profitable. They accuse the police for laxity in holding regular night patrols.
On 20th January this year, Darius Byamukama, a 27-year-old resident of Kyibuga cell in Mukarangye ward, Katuna town council was burnt to ashes by an angry mob after he was found with two stolen head of cattle.
The stolen cows belonged to Denis Tarihungwa of the same residence. The deceased was intercepted while attempting to cross to Rwanda using nondescript routes at Mishenyi in Karujanga.
Eudes Musinguzi, a general merchandise dealer at Katuna town council says that three weeks back his shop was broken into and many bags of posho, boxes of soap, salt, matchboxes and airtime stolen.
Musinguzi says that although he reported the matter to police his goods were not recovered. He says that if police had deployed at illegal crossing points, his goods could have been recovered.
Eunice Twiniomujuni, a councillor in Katuna Town Council, says that last month she lost three cows in one night. Twinomujuni says that thieves also target goats, sheep and poultry.
She says that there is a need for security officials in in the two countries to hold talks with and look for a solution.
Zadock Kajera, the Officer-in-charge of Katuna Police Station, admits that cases of theft have increased in the area. He says that for the last three months, two to three cases of theft are recorded at the station on a daily basis.
Kajera blames locals and businessmen for not bothering to report such cases. He adds that they are in the process of holding regular joint security meetings with their Rwandan counterparts.
– Uganda Radio Network