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Police Disperses Livestock Traders, Impounds Cattle Trucks in Moroto

Moroto has been under livestock quarantine since January this year, following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. But this week, a number of herdsmen brought cattle to the market, claiming that they had secured permission from area leaders to sell off the livestock despite the quarantine.
Cattle traders at Naitakwae Market this morning.

Audio 2

There is a commotion in Naitakwae Cattle Market in Moroto district following the confiscation of five truckloads of cattle by police along Moroto- Soroti Road.  

Moroto has been under livestock quarantine since January this year, following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. But this week, a number of herdsmen brought cattle to the market, claiming that they had secured permission from area leaders to sell off the livestock despite the quarantine. 

But the police, led by Charles Denaya, the officer in charge of operations in Moroto, stormed the market and ordered all the traders out. Some locals who had not yet sold any of their animals had to conduct business in the bush, others escaped with their cattle, while others scattered across the market. 

The police later followed the traders and impounded five out of the seven vehicles that had left the market with cattle. But Lokwameri Chumwale, the LCI Chairman of Namatwae Village in Nadunget Sub County says they mobilized the community to take their animals for sale after receiving information from politicians in the district. 

“What has again happened? We are being tossed here and there but there is no clear communication. Municipal and sub-county authorities need to meet and discuss their issues before asking us to bring our animals to the market?”, he said.  

Ngakarimojong //Cue in; “Inyobo kwana bobo…  

Cue out…ikwaikinio bo ai.”//    

Moroto residents defied the quarantine right from the time it was announced. Currently, pork is sold in the open while beef is sold in almost all the corridors in Camp Swahili market. Lokiru Loke, a resident from Lomuju village in Nadunget says his family is starving and can only survive after selling off some cattle. 

//Cue in; “Inyobo enyamio…

Cue out…akoro”//   

Peter Lowam, the LCI chairman of Lonyasan Village in Rupa Sub County says political leaders mobilized the local community to stop the black market and take cattle to the market. 

“Our people have been selling their animals in the bushes because of this quarantine but we were told to bring them to the market today. I don’t know how it turns to be like this again!”, Lowam wondered.

But Dr Moses Okino, the District Veterinary Officer in Moroto says livestock quarantine has not been lifted due to lack of cooperation amongst stakeholders that include the veterinary office, local leaders, the community and traders. 

However, all the politicians contacted by URN denied accusations by LCI chairpersons that they were the mobilizing the community to defy the Quarantine and sell livestock.