In a speech during Uganda’s 61st Independence Day celebrations in Kitgum Municipality, President Museveni pledged to take action against leaders in the Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions accused of running cattle-rustling cartels.
Cattle Rustling and Insecurity
The president’s warning comes amid ongoing insecurity in parts of northern Uganda, with post-LRA insurgency areas suffering from armed cattle rustling, primarily by suspected Karimojong warriors.
Accusations Against Local Leaders
President Museveni revealed that he received security reports from the army’s 5th and 3rd Divisions in Achol Pii (Acholi) and Moroto (Karamoja), indicating that some local leaders were involved in cattle rustling.
He expressed his dismay at the lenient treatment of those accused, citing a district leader involved in cattle raiding who was merely cautioned and released.
Community Collusion and Security Challenges
Brig Keith Katungi, the UPDF 5th Division commander, disclosed that there had been instances of collusion between community members and raiders, leading to security compromises.
He also mentioned the involvement of local collaborators, security personnel, and businessmen in the cattle rustling problem.
Policy on Regional Trade
The president criticized African leaders who do not actively support regional trade.
He highlighted the need for integration and ease of trade among neighboring countries, emphasizing that wealth creators benefit from such collaboration.
Successes in Skilling and Innovation
President Museveni noted the positive outcomes of the government’s regional knowledge and skilling centers, including the development of Uganda’s first locally made farm truck, known as “Bingwa.”
This three-wheeled vehicle is designed for transporting farm produce, generating electricity, and pumping water, showcasing the nation’s progress in science and innovation.
Recognition and Awards
During the Independence Day celebrations, 42 individuals were awarded medals in different disciplines, recognizing their contributions to the country.
These awards included the Distinguished Order of the Nile Class 2 awarded to former Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde and the Distinguished Order of the Nile Class 4 Officer bestowed upon three-time world championships 10,000-meter gold medalist Joshua Cheptegei.