A steering committee on cattle rustling in the eastern Africa region wants member states to ratify the protocol on combating the vice.
The committee said ratification of the protocol on prevention, combating and eradication of cattle rustling in eastern Africa will add muscle to the fight against the vice.
The call was made on Monday as delegates from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan began a two-day meeting of the Mifugo project, a partnership between the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs’ Cooperation and the Institute of Security Studies.
Established in 2008, Mifugo, a Swahili word for livestock, is tasked to implement the fight against cattle rustling.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Augusta Muchai, the Mifugo programme head, said the five member states had not ratified the protocol.
She said by not ratifying the protocol signed in 2008, the member states were slowing down the fight aginst the vice. “I request that members of the steering committee put pressure on the relevant authorities in their countries to make sure that they ratify the law,” Muchai said.
Representing Uganda’s Inspector General of Police as the guest of honour, Okoth Ochola, the assistant Inspector General of Police, said efforts were underway to have Uganda ratify the protocol.
“Even though Uganda is committed to ratifying the protocol, this has not yet happened due to various challenges.”
Ochola added that the First Lady, Janet Museveni, who is also the Karamoja affairs state minister, was paying personal attention to the ratification process and “with her push, we are optimistic that any remaining hurdles will be overcome.”
Earlier, Dr. Nicholas Kauta, the director of animal resources at the agriculture ministry, had said cattle rustling was responsible for the proliferation of livestock diseases (New Vision).