The Uganda People’s Defence Forces have blamed the Gombolola Intelligence Security Officers (GISOs) over the continued cattle rustling between Teso and Karamoja sub region.
The security forces warned that GISOs could be partly collaborating with cattle raiders because they do not provide accurate and complete intelligence which has frustrated the efforts to apprehend the real criminals.
Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe, the UPDF 3rd Division commander said they are failing to understand why the cattle theft is still happening in sub counties where the Gombolola intelligence officers are operating but are unable to provide information.
Balikudembe says the GISOs have turned out to be collaborators of cattle thieves because they live together in the community but they do not report them.
According to Balikudembe, it is unfortunate for security commanders to carry blame for cattle theft not ending yet there are GISOs who meant to work with them to stop the vice.
“Our GISOs are sleeping on the job, we deployed them to help and feed us with the information about raiders but we have not received anything and yet they live with the suspects, now which intelligence are they doing? ” he wondered.
Balikudembe observed that the security forces are able to deal decisively with criminal elements but they need support from the intelligence officers at the grassroots levels.
He noted that the purpose of deploying GISOs as part of their structure to each sub county was to ensure that they help to detect and report the wrong elements in the communities, something they have never done.
Balikudembe also challenged the GISOs from Karamoja and the neighbouring districts of Teso to register all the homesteads and their source of livelihood for easy monitoring.
However, one of the GISOs who preferred anonymity said that they wish to report the criminals but the only challenge is their safety when the suspect is arrested and released.
He said they are dealing with heartless warriors but as an intelligence officer, he does everything possible to have the suspects arrested, unfortunately they are released and when they come back to the community, putting their lives at risk.
Earlier in June, the sub county chairpersons, GISOs, PISOs were living in fear as cattle rustlers shifted their wrath on the leaders whom they accused of interfering with their raid missions. As a result, the unknown suspected warriors shot dead the GISO of Lokopo sub county in Napak district, within the same week another GISO from Apeitolim sub county abandoned his home following death threats from the warriors.