POLICE in Rwamagana District are holding two men in connection with cattle theft in the neighbouring Kayonza District.
Theogene Gasajya, 25, and Claude Rutimbo, were arrested on Monday in Fumbwe Sector, where all the seven stolen cows were recovered.
Police spokesperson for Eastern Province Emmanuel Kayigi said Police received tips from residents at about 2pm, after they saw the two men crossing Lake Muhazi to Fumbwe, with the cows.
“Police officers were immediately dispatched and the two men were arrested before arrival to their final destination, and the cows recovered. We have since established that the cows were being taken to Nyagasambu abattoir,” Kayigi said.
Meanwhile, the owner of the recovered cows, John Kimenyi, who hails from Gatsibo District, said he had taken the cows to Murundi Sector in Kayonza for pasture, and that he wasn’t aware that his livestock had been stolen.
“Preliminary investigations revealed the likely connivance of the herdsmen and people at the abattoir, where they were being taken, but investigations are still underway to bring to book anyone connected to this theft,” Kayigi added.
“There are proper and legal procedures through which cows or livestock are transported; you need to have an authorisation letter from the area of origin; secondly, taking the cows through Lake Muhazi raised fears and concerns from the residents, which prompted them to call police for immediate response.”
He said Police are aware of issues related to cattle rustling in Eastern Province and a number of tough measures have been undertaken, including working with the farmers, the general population, local leaders and operations to combat the crime.
About 50 people have been arrested in connection with cattle theft, especially in Nyagatare District, since last year.