Sev­eral killings later, no ac­tion from gov­ern­ment

Pres­i­dent has called for an­other con­fer­ence Satur­day to ad­dress the in­se­cu­rity

The East African - - NEWS -

By JONATHAN KAMOGA

In March 2012, when prom­i­nent Mus­lim cleric Sheikh Ab­dul Karim Ssen­tamu was fa­tally shot as he left a mosque, Pres­i­dent Yow­eri Mu­sev­eni and se­cu­rity heads promised to "hunt," "get" or "ap­pre­hend" the killers.

Six years and at least 17 mur­ders later, the po­lice have nei­ther re­solved his killing nor any of the oth­ers, save for 14 sus­pects who were ac­quit­ted of charges of ter­ror­ism, mur­der and at­tempted mur­der of other Mus­lim cler­ics, and 12 other sus­pects ac­cused of the other mur­ders.

The pres­i­dent, at the height of the killing of Mus­lim cler­ics, blamed the Congo-based rebel group, Al­lied Demo­cratic Forces, and he would later blame the same group for the mur­der of se­nior gov­ern­ment pros­e­cu­tor Joan Kagezi and for­mer po­lice spokesper­son Felix Kaweesi.

In mak­ing the com­ments on the ADF link, the pres­i­dent was read­ing from what was ev­i­dently a brief from his se­cu­rity chiefs, es­pe­cially the now dis­graced for­mer in­spec­tor gen­eral of po­lice Kale Kay­i­hura, who in many of the cases, made the same claims at mur­der scenes he vis­ited.

Ad­dress­ing the nation on June 7, this year, Pres­i­dent Mu­sev­eni said, “The ADF crim­i­nals in Congo will an­swer for the killings of our peo­ple even when they are hid­ing in Congo. Their only safety is for them to vol­un­tar­ily sur­ren­der and seek amnesty. If how­ever, they were to re-en­ter Uganda, they would be promptly and de­ci­sively de­feated.”

But the pres­i­dent did not an­nounce to the nation that the al­leged group’s leader Jamil Mukulu had been ar­rested in April 2015 by Tan­za­nia’s se­cu­rity who handed him over to Uganda.

But the killings con­tin­ued. On De­cem­ber 28, 2014, when Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga was shot dead at Bwe­ba­jja Mosque on En­tebbe Road, Pres­i­dent Mu­sev­eni said the killing could be part of wran­gles within the Mus­lim com­mu­nity.

The Pres­i­dent also ex­pressed dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the Ju­di­ciary. “This is un­ac­cept­able. Why does the ju­di­ciary re­lease on bail some­body charged with such a se­ri­ous crime?” he said.

Then on March 8, this year, four years af­ter her mur­der, speak­ing on the oc­cas­sion mark­ing In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day in Mityana, the pres­i­dent an­nounced that he had in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the killers of Ms Kagezi and that ac­tion would be taken. No ar­rest has been made to date.

On the morn­ing of March 17, 2017, As­sis­tant In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice Felix Kaweesi was gunned down to­gether with his body­guard Ken­neth Erau and driver God­frey Mam­bewa as they were driv­ing out of his home in Ku­lam­biro, a Kam­pala sub­urb.

This time the pres­i­dent blamed the po­lice. Speak­ing at a vigil at the de­ceased’s home on March 19, 2017, Pres­i­dent Mu­sev­eni said that the po­lice force needed to be ‘’cleaned’’ as it had been in­fil­trated by crim­i­nals. He or­dered im­me­di­ate in­stal­la­tion of CCTV cam­eras in the Kam­pala met­ro­pol­i­tan area and along ma­jor high­ways.

“Some of th­ese [se­cu­rity] groups are in­fil­trated by crim­i­nals. So, you get a sit­u­a­tion where they are in­tim­i­dat­ing wit­nesses, Over 30 peo­ple have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion to the mur­ders span­ning over six years but the courts have de­clared most of them in­no­cent and re­leased them. On Au­gust 21, 2017, the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Di­vi­sion of the High Court ac­quit­ted 14 sus­pects of mur­der charges with a panel of three jus­tices say­ing the pros­e­cu­tion’s ev­i­dence was lack­ing. some­times killing wit­nesses. They leak [wit­ness] in­for­ma­tion [to crim­i­nals]. The po­lice has been in­fil­trated by crim­i­nals. Kale [Kay­i­hura] you must clean the po­lice es­pe­cially the CID,” he or­dered.

The pres­i­dent as­sured mourn­ers that all “pigs” who mur­dered Kaweesi would be killed un­less they sur­ren­dered to po­lice, re­peat­ing a fa­mil­iar state­ment that the Na­tional Rul­ing Move­ment had de­feated many crim­i­nal groups in­clud­ing the Lord’s Re­sis­tance Army rebel leader Joseph “[Pros­e­cu­tion] does not ir­re­sistibly show that the ac­cused per­sons or any of them par­tic­i­pated in the deaths of Mustapha Bahiga or Has­san Ibrahim Kirya or the at­tempted mur­der of Haruna Jjemba. The pros­e­cu­tion ev­i­dence leads to sev­eral pos­si­bil­i­ties to point to other per­pe­tra­tors than the ac­cused per­sons,” the judge­ment reads. Kony, ADF rebels and Ka­ri­mo­jong cat­tle rustlers.

Be­tween May and Septem­ber last year, 23 women were mys­te­ri­ously mur­dered in the ar­eas of En­tebbe and Wak­iso district. The pres­i­dent vis­ited the com­mu­ni­ties on Septem­ber 26, 2017.

“The wananchi gave me valu­able in­for­ma­tion. We have pre­vi­ously dealt with and de­feated more so­phis­ti­cated crime, in­clud­ing ter­ror­ism. We shall ap­pre­hend those be­hind th­ese killings,” Pres­i­dent Mu­sev­eni said.

Over 13 sus­pects were later ar­rested and are fac­ing trial.

On Jan­uary 1, 2018, a gang at­tacked four vil­lages in Lwengo and Buko­man­simbi dis­tricts killing five peo­ple. On Jan­uary 4, when the pres­i­dent vis­ited the be­reaved fam­i­lies, he as­sured them of jus­tice and that the at­tack­ers “will be killed.”

“I am sad­dened by th­ese deaths but we have got clues and we shall get the at­tack­ers. They think that they will kill peo­ple and they will not be killed. That is a false be­lief,” he said. While de­liv­er­ing the state of the nation ad­dress on

Pres­i­dent Yow­eri Mu­sev­eni ad­dress­ing the coun­try at State House. He has is­sued sev­eral state­ments on killings

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