Police are investigating allegations that Kampala and Masindi dwellers are feasting on meat from Zziwa Ranch Ltd which is contaminated with deadly Brucella, Red Pepper exclusively reports.
Zziwa Ranch based in Masindi is owned by Mukwano Group of Companies.
In a whistle blower’s report to the Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, a copy of which we obtained, over 600 heads of cattle from Mukwano’s Zziwa Ranch Ltd in Masindi have been put to open market despite being diagnosed positive with Brucellosis disease.
“That sounds insensitive and yet dangerous… but let me find out and I will get back to you. In case the IGP received that information, investigations must be on,” Judith Nabakooba, the Police chief mouthpiece, told Red Pepper. She however didn’t get back to us by the time we went to the press.
However, in their investigation report, the Department of livestock health and entomology at National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Center (NADDEC), revealed that 2761 heads of cattle at Mukwano’s Zziwa Ranch, Kiryana Branch in the cattle corridor of Masindi tested positive to Brucella and hence needed to get rid of by killing and bury or burn the carcasses.
But the whistle blower’s report dated September 20, 2012 reveals that Mukwano has put the same animals on the market and his people have opened up butchers in Masindi town and Kampala from where the same animals are slaughtered and sold to innocent Ugandans.
“This is a dangerous move that police ought to investigate and bring the culprits to book,” reads in part, the whistle blower’s report whose author remains anonymous on request.
“Zziwa Ranch Ltd, Kiryana Branch is located in the cattle corridor where Brucellosis is endemic. It is a 62 square mile land in size, sitting in Kimengo parish, Kimengo Sub County, Buluuli County in Masindi District. This farm belongs to Mukwano Company [and] it has an animal population of 2761 heads of cattle,” reads the introduction report of the investigations led by Dr. Robert Mwebe of NADDEC.
Other investigation team members were PLT Eugene Arinaitwe, LT Milton Bahati, LT Franklin Mayanja and LT Eugene Kidega and their investigations were made between May 22 and 27, 2012.
“Two years back, breeding Boran bulls were introduced in the ranch. The ranch is not fenced off and such animals from the neighbouring farms can easily access the ranch,” reads the report, adding that there are also wild animals like baboons and jackals among others, crisscrossing the ranch and therefore have frequent contact with the animal herds.
“Serum samples were tested using Bengal Plate test at [NADDEC]. Serum samples that gave positive results by RBPT were considered sero-positive. See list attached,” the report concludes by listing the animals’ name tags.
And they declared the animals deadly as the Brucella disease causes to human, significant disease commonly referred to as undulant fever and eventual death.
“We have concrete knowledge that instead of getting rid of the dangerous cattle, Mukwano has put them on market. His managers have opened up butcher centres in Masindi and Kampala and are selling the deadly meat to innocent Ugandan population. Your urgent intervention is direly required Mr. IGP,” reads the report to Kayihura whose comment we failed to get as our repeated calls were not answered.
In the same measure, we could not reach Mukwano’s manager in charge of farms, Qbal Mohammed, as his known phone number remained switched off when we tried to contact him.