NYAGATARE—Livestock farmers in Umutara region are crying foe over the escalation of cattle theft, where over 250 cattle were reported to have been stolen in the region comprised of Nyagatare, Gatsibo and Kayonza district.
Sources say a number of cattle stolen in the area are being taken to the republic of Tanzania by the recently-evicted returnees.
A veterinary doctor in Eastern Province, Justin Zimurinda, says that the escalation of the theft in Umutara was caused by a number of factors including the hike of beef prices both in the country and wider region.
Police inspector Damien Gasana confirmed that cattle the deeds had reached an ‘alarming state’, which had compelled police run extraordinary operations.
‘Recently over 20 cattle were taken but fortunately we have already recovered over 17 of them and the remaining three the police are working tirelessly to bring back,” Gasana said.
A dozen of livestock farmers who talked to this reporter asked for a government to carry out an immediate amendment to the local mediator’s law, which states that it does not judge cases below the value of Frw3 million.
One identified as Kabera claims that the law ‘harbors’ cattle rustlers, courts often take days to sit, which is like giving the rustlers to disguise the evidence.
“We take cattle as a long-term investment project but the law of local mediators categorize cattle among the petty cases which is being handled by Abunzi, we call upon the policy makers to amend that law.”