Sembabule Herdsmen, Police in Bitter Row over Cattle Quarantine

A bitter row has erupted between Police and herdsmen in Lwemiyaga County in Sembabule district over the enforcement of cattle quarantine in the area.

The herdsmen together with cattle dealers are accusing police of being used by selfish individuals to harass them under the pretext of containing the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD which they claim is non-existent in the area.

On Tuesday, the Sembabule District Police Commander Denis Musinguzi deployed anti-riot police in Lwemiyaga where they have been engaging herdsmen in running battles to foil their attempts of taking livestock to market places, which were closed.

However, farmers and the local leaders argue that despite the harassment they have been subjected to, police doesn’t have any official confirmation of FMD in their area.

Francis Ssenkooto, the chairperson of cattle dealers in Lwemiyaga County accuses Police of acting on the orders of a few selfish politicians who want to financially cripple the area.

Ssenkooto says the community has now been left in confusion with hardly no alternative sources of income.

Johnstone Kamugisha the LCV Councillor representing Lwemiyaga sub-county also the district Secretary for Production also blames police of overstepping their mandate of enforcing quarantine in an area that is not affected by FMD.

He explains that the Commissioner for Animal Health in Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry declared quarantine in only three sub-counties of Rugushuulu, Mitima and Rumegere.

He questions how police have now crossed to Lwemiyaga where there are even no suspected cases of FMD.

He has threatened to mobilize the affected farmers to massively resist the police actions should they failed to withdraw personnel by next week.

Joseph Agaba, one of the cattle traders currently stranded at the closed market has appealed to the Minister of Animal Husbandry to directly intervene.

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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