According to security, the registration and branding of cattle will enable them to manage the recoveries of stolen cows and avert exaggeration of numbers which have always put security forces under pressure to track animals that do not exist.
However, the proposal has generated a debate as a section of leaders oppose the plan lamenting that branding of cattle will be a waste of resources for no value.
cattle with the ring round branding on their hide
Local leaders in the Karamoja sub-region are divided over the proposed
branding and registration of all cattle in an effort to combat the exaggeration
of stolen livestock. The joint security forces in the region recently suggested
that local leaders undertake the branding and registration of cattle to prevent
the inflation of reported raids, which has put pressure on security forces to
track non-existent animals.
However, the proposal has sparked a debate, with some leaders
opposing the plan, arguing that branding cattle would be a wasteful use of
resources without yielding significant value. Emmanuel Longes, the LC3
chairperson of Lorengedwat Sub County in Nabilatuk district, believes that
branding cows would not be effective as raiders have methods of removing the
Longes suggested that the government should consider revitalizing the
Nabilatuk resolution, which focuses on penalizing communities that harbor
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Angela, an elder in Rupa sub-county, Moroto district, expressed skepticism
about the effectiveness of branding cattle, stating that the raiders know how
to erase the marks using hot metal. Angela emphasized that addressing
corruption among local authorities and community members would be more
impactful in ending cattle raids and restoring peace to the region.
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Lobot, the LC5 chairperson for Amudat district, acknowledged that branding cows
could be successful if managed properly and implemented earlier before
significant losses occurred due to cattle rustling. Lobot believed that even if
some individuals attempted to remove the branding, security forces could take
action against them.
Onoria, the Kotido Resident District Commissioner, highlighted the challenges
faced by security officers in maintaining security due to the increasing
innovation of criminals. Onoria emphasized the need for the government to
leverage available technology to combat cattle rustling, as criminals have
become adept at using communication devices and exploiting security road
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differing opinions among local leaders, security forces continue to assert that
the registration and branding of cattle would facilitate the return of
recovered animals to their rightful owners. General Wilson Mbadi, the Chief of
Defence Forces, expressed frustration with communities exaggerating the number
of stolen cows to gain additional benefits, which hampers their work.
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2022, three sub-county chairpersons in the Kaabong district were arrested for
allegedly using branding machines meant for legitimate purposes to brand stolen
Turkana animals. This incident highlights the need for effective management and
oversight of any cattle branding initiatives in the region.