By Peter Abaanabasazi
Police in Hoima are holding 12 suspects including a top businessman in the connection to the rampant theft of livestock in Bunyoro region.
The suspects are Frank Tumwine, 29, Dan Namara, residents of Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district, Karebu Rwomushana, 36, a resident of Kiryandongo district, Robert Businge, 32, a resident of Mparo division and Lukumandi Mungenyi, 17, a resident of Ishaka lower in Hoima Municipality.
Others are Amon Mugisha, 25, Moses Muhozi, 25, residents of Kyanwanzi district, Enoch Ntugire, 24, a resident of Kazo village in Kiruhura district, a one Karangwa and Muhamadi Atugonza, a resident Kiryateete in Hoima town.
According the Albertine Police Spokesperson, Julius Hakiza, the suspects were arrested on Friday night last week along Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya road in Buseruka sub-county as they were transporting four stolen cows from Kyarushesha in Kyangwali sub-county.
He added that the suspects were traveling with the stolen cows inside a box body truck registration number UAQ O53E. The track according to police belongs to businessman Richard Mwanika, who is also under Police custody.
He said that the suspects were arrested following an operation mounted to crackdown on the increasing animal theft in the district.
Hakiza added that four cows were recovered from the suspects. Over 200 cows are said to have been stolen from different farmers since December 2017 in the sub-counties of Buseruka, Kyangwali, Bugambe and Hoima Municipality.
According to Hakiza, 115 cows were stolen since 1st May and they have never been recovered.
The suspects are currently detained at Hoima Police station waiting to be arraigned before courts of law to answer charges of theft after police investigation.
As police paraded the suspects to their victims (farmers) and press at Hoima police station, some of the suspects confessed stealing the animals as agents of some people.
“We have told you some of the people we work for, but you have failed to arrest them and you have continued to insist on us,” a suspect complained.
It is at this point that Abel Kyoto, the officer in charge of Hoima Police station who had paraded them asked the suspects, “Can you please tell us the names of those people you said that you work for?”
The suspect without any fear mentioned a one Fred and Kiiza, who they claimed that is a resident of Kyankwanzi district and Patrick of Hoima district.
They demanded police to arrest the three if they wanted to get to the bottom of how they steal animals.