NRM boss held for stealing animals

Thursday May 17 2018



Police in Amuru District are holding the district NRM chairperson, Mr Richard Opolacen, on allegations of stealing five head of cattle belonging to herdsmen commonly known as Balaalo.
Mr Opolacen was arrested after the herdsman tipped off the police that he had stolen their animals on May 8.

The Amuru Town Council chairperson, Mr Richard Komakech, told Daily Monitor on Saturday that Mr Opolacen’s trouble started when security officials on May 8 recovered 155 head of cattle being kept in Lungulu Sub-county, Nwoya District, during an operation to evict the Balaalo.
Mr Komakech said as the animals were being transported to Amuru, Mr Opolacen disappeared with five animals, prompting them to report a case of animal theft, leading to his arrest.
A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the NRM official sold two of the cows at Shs2.6 million to a businessman in Gulu District.

“We carried out investigations and netted two of the animals being transported to Gulu District in a truck; the driver of the truck had no animal movement permit,” he said.
He noted that when they later arrested Mr Opolacen, he claimed the animals were bought to be slaughtered at an event, which was presided over by President Museveni in Olwal Village last weekend.

Balaalo woes

In April, the UPDF, started forceful eviction of Balaalo from Acholi Sub-region. Last year, President Museveni ordered that the herdsmen who have not fenced their land where animals can graze be evicted.