Several killings later, no action from government
President has called for another conference Saturday to address the insecurity
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