Rapa FM Pader

Bongtiko subcounty chairman arrested for animal theft

8 July 2024, 13:53

By Lakomekec Kinyera

In a significant crackdown on livestock theft, Mr Lugela Kilama John Bosco, the chairperson of Bongtiko subcounty, was arrested alongside three others on Sunday, 7 July 2024.

The community alleges that the suspects misused their official positions to steal and sell animals, including cows and goats.

The arrested include Oryem Bosco, the chairperson of Oratwilo west village, and two unidentified individuals. Local sources claim these individuals have operated a network targeting roaming livestock, severely impacting the local farming community.

Daniel Oloya, the councillor for Ogole parish, expressed relief at the arrests, calling them overdue. “The community has suffered greatly from Mr Lugela and his group’s activities, leading to substantial property loss,” Oloya said.

Joe Okwera, the district councillor for Bongtiko subcounty, suggested the criminal network might involve over 30 individuals. He praised the police’s diligent work and called for continued vigilance and community cooperation.

Pader district police community liaison officer Washington Ogole confirmed the arrests and the formal registration of the case under SD Ref. 10/07/07/2024. He assured the community of a thorough investigation and called for any information to aid the process.

The arrests follow a major Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) operation at Rackoko trading centre in Lunyiri subcounty, where a checkpoint was established to curb illegal livestock movement. Seven trucks carrying 109 cows, 99 goats, four sheep, and one pig were stopped and verified, leading to the release of the animals after addressing theft complaints.

Captain Favorite Rugumayo, Public Information Officer for the 5th division barracks, highlighted intensified efforts to crack down on illegal animal sales and thefts across several districts.

According to the Penal Code Act, Section 266, anyone found guilty of animal theft faces life imprisonment for cattle rustling.