Security impounds Tanzanian cows

About 10 truckloads of cattle enroute to Kampala have been intercepted by  security operatives at Lukaya along the Masaka – Kampala highway, and driven back to the Uganda – Tanzania border town of Mutukula.

The cattle, according to Kyotera Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Maj David Matovu had been bought by cattle traders from inside Tanzania but owing to a quarantine on movement of cattle due to a 2017 outbreak of the Foot and Mouth disease, the animals could not be allowed to enter Kampala.

The impounded trucks were driven to Mutukula prison farm where they are being kept under heavy military guard.

In February, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja announced a partial lifting of the quarantine in Sembabule, Gomba and Lyantonde districts.

Ssempijja’s announcement was used by cattle keepers and traders to re-open cattle markets in the neighbouring cattle corridor districts before Security Minister Gen Elly Tumwine swung into action to enforce the quarantine.

“What is Gen Tumwine’s interest in this? Has assumed the roles of the Minister of Agriculture?” wondered Kyotera district chairman Charles Kintu Kisekulo.

Tumwine reportedly deployed informers in the region to update him on any movements of uninspected cattle.

On Saturday, the cattle traders raided Kyotera district headquarters at Kasaali near Kyotera Township protesting the impounding of their animals.

While the cattle traders claim to have locally bought the animals, Matovu said that some of the impounded cattle had Tanzanian marks.

“Because cattle is cheaper in Tanzania, the traders buy cattle from across the border and bring  it in through unofficial entry points unknowing that the security is alert,” said the Kyotera RDC.

About five heads cattle of cattle had reportedly died.