It is not rare to see cows, goats, sheep and chicken roam the streets of Iganga town. Traffic flow in the eastern Uganda town, which is a major stop over on the Kenya-Uganda highway, is often interrupted by unmonitored domestic animals meandering through Iganga in search of food and pasture.
Now the Town Clerk of Iganga has had enough of the disorganization. Last week Steve Tusubira issued a warning letter to all livestock owners in the town to place a tight leash on the movement of their animals. He notified them that any stray animals would be impounded by the Town Council authorities and auctioned.
Tusubira's warning was however ignored and this week when the a joint tea of police and town council enforcement officers began a wide scale impounding of stray animals, many were taken by surprise. 60 cows, sheep and goats were confiscated in the exercise and one livestock owner, Nusula Adudhal, was arrested for grazing her cattle in the town and inconveniencing the public.
Several cattle owners whose animals were being impounded attempted to riot against the police. The police were forced to shoot in the air to disperse the angry crowds and to continue with their work.
Alamazan Nkwanga, the chief Iganga law enforcement officer who led the operation, said most of the cattle impounded belonged to Asuman Dabasada, an elected councilor in Iganga Town Council. He says Dabasada and his supporters threw stones at the police and law enforcement officers in attempt to deter their work.
The livestock owners are to be fined 20,000 shillings for each animal impounded.