KOTIDO, UGANDA: Kotido authorities have scaled down the official working hours because of the tense security situation resulting from increased attacks by armed rustlers.
The Resident District Commissioner, Ambrose Onoria revealed this to URN on Thursday shortly after holding a District Security Meeting.
According to Onoria, the District Security Meeting resolved that government employees attached to offices outside Kotido municipality will now report to work by 10am and leave by 2pm for their own safety. “We believe this will help us to safeguard the lives of the workers from armed rustlers as security is addressing the situation,” he said.
Joseph Lomongin, the Kotido Chief Administrative Officer has cautioned technical officials from NGOs and the central government in Kampala not to go for any field visits in Kotido without passing through the office of the CAO, RDC, and the district chairperson for guidance.
“I call upon any visiting officials either from the nongovernmental organizations and technical team from the center that please don’t rush to the field in Kotido without passing our offices for security guidance,” he said.
Kotido has been marked as the most insecure district in the Karamoja region with a high rate of killings. From February to May this year, suspected rustlers have gunned down more than 20 people. Most of the killings occur in road ambushes and targeted killings.
The latest incident happened on Thursday morning hours when rustlers ambushed the UN WFP team and robbed their money and mobile phones. The team was returning from Kacheri where they had gone to distribute plapnunt food for malnourished children and their parents.
Grace Nakongo, one of the village health team members in Rengen sub-county, said people especially in the villages enter their houses by 6pm fearing the raiders. “We don’t know why the security has allowed these rustlers to take us back again where Karamoja was in the past,” she wondered.
Micheal Longole, the Karamoja regional police spokesperson says that security was on high alert to deal with criminals who were still hiding guns in Karamoja. According to Longole, only a few individuals are disturbing the peace in Karamoja, adding that soon they will lose appetite for gun violence.