President Museveni has given two months’ notice to a band of marauding cattle keepers known as “Balaalo“ to depart northern Uganda.
According to the president, the group is made up of non-Ugandans from Rwanda and Congo, as well as Ugandans from Ankole, who he claims have been moving their cattle around Uganda while invading other people’s land.
In a letter dated November 2 to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Museveni stated that the ‘undisciplined’ actors have caused political misunderstandings among other Ugandan communities, which his government will not tolerate.
Museveni ordered that no cattle be moved without the approval of local government authorities.
He also stated that whether cattle owners buy or lease land, they must only move cattle to that land if it contains water or is securely fenced to prevent the cattle from trampling on the crops of others.
“A legal basis for granting him a cattle movement purpose does not exist without ensuring that the migrant’s cattle will not eat the crops of the neighbours,” he wrote.
“As a result, those Balaalo should be given two months to leave the entire north unless they can demonstrate that they meet the minimum conditions stated above.”
Museveni went on to say that the necessary laws should be changed to provide for imprisonment (possibly up to 5 years) as well as the confiscation and auctioning of the cattle involved in the illegal actions.
The president has formed a three-person committee comprised of David Muhoozi, Bwogo Engola, and Col. Bright Rwamirama to oversee the implementation of this directive.