Between May and September last year, 23 women were mysteriously murdered in the areas of Entebbe and Wakiso”
June 6 this year, the president assured the country that security was guaranteed and that the government had put in place mechanisms to build the intelligence gathering capacity in urban areas and on highways.
Two days later on June 8, former Arua municipality legislator Ibrahim Abiriga together with his bodyguard Saidi Kongo were gunned down by assailants riding on motorcycles.
The president said there was a high probability that Abiriga’s killing was political because of his commitment to the NRM, adding that the “cowardly idiots” behind the murder would be defeated wherever they are.
He asked the Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga to convene a special session for him to address the House on security matters. He did on June 20. In his address to legislators the president reassured the world that Uganda was safe and that his government had the capacity to guarantee the safety of all people in Uganda. He then presented a 10-point road map towards the same.
This included the installation of scanners at borders, tracking social media users, the use of drones to spot criminals, revival of the police emergency system, physical deployment of police, introduction of electric number plates and helmets, installation of CCTV cameras and fingerprinting all guns.
As recent as last week on September 8, three months after the president’s address to parliament, a fierce critic of the police force who also happens to be a serving policeman Muhammad Kirumira was assassinated. The president visited the crime scene three hours later, and left with two eyewitnesses to the crime.
In a statement later that day, the president said that the criminals were still using the gaps he identified in his speech to parliament earlier on June 20. “The Police Force is working hard to fill the gaps. They have started installing the cameras and other measures are being put in place,” he said.
Following Kirumira’s killing, Ugandans took to social media to express their hopelessness in the state of security. One post summed it up: “If they can kill a senior police officer, and an MP, what about a simple Ugandan?”
At a press conference in State House, Entebbe on September 9, the president ordered the deployment and arming of 24,000 Local Defence Unit officers in over 1,000 villages of Kampala and Wakiso districts for a year, which will cost the country Ush57 billion.
The move has however attracted criticisms from security experts and opposition politicians who argue that more guns in communities will increase crime.
The president has called for yet another conference on September 15 to address the state of security. AS THE country reels from a string of unexplained assassinations, the list of prominent targets has been growing, and with it also that of little known victims whose deaths have been mourned only by their kin.
Those in the latter category fell victim simply because they kept wrong company and were in the wrong places — with individuals targeted by the assassins. Resty Naalinya is the latest such victim.
Ugandans are still trying to come to terms with this growing list assassinations targeting prominent individuals.
The death of Ibrahim Abiriga, the Arua Municipality MP murdered in cold blood on June 8 has so far claimed the longest trail of subsequent killings.
Apart from his brother, Saidi Butele Kongo, who died with him on that fateful day, at least six other people died in clashes at his funeral as his supporters clashed with security agents as his body was being ferried to his home district for burial.
More deaths followed in the process of electing his replacing in a bu-election. The election sparked a tense political situation in the country that peaked with the current contest between President Yoweri Museveni and musician-turned politician Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. The by-election itself and the aftermath resulted in at least two more killings that could have possibly been avoided had Abiriga not be assassinated.
Former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was murdered on March 17, 2017 near his home in the Kampala suburb of Kulambiro, still has the highest number of collateral damage victims as he was killed together with his driver and body guard. 26-year-old Resty Naalinya was killed together with the former Buyende District police commander, Muhammad Kirumira on September 8, in Bulenga near Kampala. Naalinya was a mobile money operator and a friend of Mr Kirumira who happened to be in his car when the assassins struck. He was driving AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi on that ill-fated morning of March 17, 2017 when they were ambushed just a few metres from Kaweesi’s home. Questions remain about whether he played a role in Kawesi’s assassination as investigators search for clues on why he stopped or failed to apply defensive driving skills to try and avoid the ambush. The Land Cruiser V8 which he was driving is a powerful SUV with sufficient thrust to outpace the assassins who were on motorcycles but there was no evidence he even tried to dodge them. Kongo was a younger brother and body guard of Arua municipality legislator, (Rtd) Col. Ibrahim Abiriga. They were killed on June 8, 2018 as they headed back home in the MP’S car. The family said that Kongo used to joke that if death was to come for him, he would die together with his brother Abiriga. Kawuma was the driver of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, the MP of Kyandondo east. Kawuma was shot by security forces in a fracas at the height of the Arua by- election to replace the assassinated MP Ibrahim Abiriga. Police said he was killed by a stray bullet. Mukasa was killed together with Muslim cleric Sheik Maj. Mohammed Kiggundu, one of the former commanders of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who had turned government collaborator and one of the top mobilisers of for the NRM government doing the talk show circuit especially on Luganda Radio stations. He used the platform to persuade his former colleagues still holding out to take up the offer of the government amnesty. A Sergeant, Mukisa was both a driver and bodyguard of Maj. Kiggundu. Ramanthan Walyendo, 30, succumbed to gunshot wounds he sustained during a campaign rally held along in Bugiri municipality. He was a member of the security detail of Bugiri Municipality MP contestant Asuman Basalirwa. Police said he was killed by a stray bullet. Corporal Kenneth Erau, was the bodyguard of the assassinated police spokesman AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was killed shielding his boss from a hail of bullets fired at the vehicle in which they were travelling. Erau was raising his 12 siblings and taking care of his father’s two widows. Racheal Ayebazibwe was a final year student at the Kyambogo University. She was to graduate in December this year, having completed a three-year Bachelor’s Degree in Microfinance in June. She was hit by a stray bullet during the #Freebobiwine protests in the city. She was in a coma until when she breathed her last. The two football fans were killed in Mityana as two police officers opened fire on a taxi they were travelling in to a football match. This was during a violent protest over the arrest, detention and alleged torture of their MP Francis Zaake. The police officers are on the run.
at are yet to be solved.