Two men have been arrested in Rwamagana District following investigations into cattle theft in the neighbouring Kayonza District.
Theogene Gasajya, 25 and Claude Rutimbo were arrested on September 12 in Manunu of Fumbwe Sector, where all the seven stolen cows were recovered.
Police spokesperson for the Eastern Province, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi, said that they received information from residents of Mununu about 2:00pm, after they saw the two men crossing Lake Muhazi to Fumbwe, with the cows.
“Police officers were immediately dispatched and the two men were arrested before arrival to their final destination, and cows recovered. We have since established that the cows were being taken to Nyagasambu abattoir,” IP Kayigi said.
Meanwhile, the owner of the recovered cows, John Kimenyi, who hails from Gatsibo District, said that he had taken the cows to Murundi Sector in Kayonza for pasture, and that he wasn’t aware that his livestock had been stolen.
“Preliminary investigations have since revealed the likely involvement of the herdsmen and people at the abattoir, where they were being taken, but investigations are still underway to bring to book anyone connected to this theft,” IP Kayigi added.
“There are proper and legal procedures through which cows or livestock are transported; you need to have an authorization letter from the area of origin; secondly, taking the cows through Lake Muhazi raised fears and concerns by the residents, which prompted them to call police for immediate response.”
“Rwanda National Police is aware of issues related to cattle theft in the Eastern region and a number of tough measures have been undertaken including working with the farmers, the general population, local leaders and operations to combat this crime,” he noted.
About 50 people have been arrested in connection with cattle theft especially in Nyagatare District, since last year.