Traders Raise Alarm Over Animal Thefts in Masaka

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The Easter season has provided incentive for cattle thieves in Masaka district.

More than 60 cases of animal thefts have been recorded at Masaka central police station between Sunday and Wednesday this week.

Police say the animals were stolen from Kyawagonya cattle market, Kyazaanga and Kinoni in Kiseka Sub County.

At Kyawagonya cattle market, thugs raided the market in a daring raid and took off with 20 cows.

On Wednesday, thugs raided Kamuli village in Kibiinge Sub County and stole 30 animals. David Agaba, the Southern Region Rapid Response Unit commander, says owners of the stolen animals alerted police and a patrol was quickly mounted.

The Rapid Response Unit in Kasana zone in Nyendo town intercepted the animals and the thugs. The intercepted animals included 17 goats, 10 cows and 3 sheep. The animals were being transported to Kampala.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the theft. The suspects are Joseph Kiggundu, a renowned businessman in Masaka town, Frank Ssemanda and John Nsubuga all residents of Nyendo in Masaka town.

The suspects are being detained at Masaka central police station.

On interrogation, Joseph Kiggundu, told police that he was just hired to transport these animals. But Patrick Bamanyindo, the Criminal Investigations officer, says Kiggundu and his wife Night Kakaswa, currently on remand at Masaka central prison, are habitual thieves.

Agaba also says police are investigating butcheries in Masaka to establish the source of their meat. The investigation stems from reports that 10-cows were stolen last night. // Cue in: "ten heads of cows..." Cue out: "...their abattoirs."//

Aisha Nakaliika, a goat breeder wants police to step up security in the districts rural area.