Friends and Bazukulu (grand children), thank you so much for your comments, feedback and concerns on several social media platforms when muzukulu (Lakwara, grand-daughter) Sussane was brutally murdered.
Let me offer some responses.
First, general points. NRM never promises what it cannot deliver. The young people who did not witness past events need to know this.
When we started fighting Amin in 1971, many people thought we were joking. When we started fighting the UPC in 1981, many people did not believe that we would succeed.
Quite a number of people did not think that we would defeat Kony, Lakwena, UPA in Teso or the ADF in the Rwenzori Mountains.
Many people did not believe that we would successfully remove the 40,000 illegal guns from Karimojong cattle rustlers.
Many people did not believe that we would end shortages of sugar, soap, paraffin, beer etc- the so-called “essential commodities.” All these, however, have been achieved.
The rural-based terrorism was defeated because we concentrated on developing special equipment and troops for that purpose ( e.g mountain troops etc).
The criminals are now using our big successes and development to cause trouble but not for long. They are using the big numbers of our citizens and foreigners who are in the towns, the large number of cars and motorcycles, the large number of telephones, to mingle in the crowds and disappear fast. These tactics of the criminals, however, have solutions.
Ugandans, especially the young people, need to know that solutions to problems are not by miracles but by struggle and effort. These always take time and effort. The NRM, however, always succeeds because we are genuine and serious. We are not jokers and have never been.
Secondly, the cameras and other technical means (DNA, palm prints etc). Unlike what Ayman Mahdi thinks, that determined criminals will commit crimes even in front of cameras, it will make their identification fast and, therefore, their hunting and capture fast.
Thirdly: Why has the acquisition of cameras delayed? I talked about them when AIGP Felix Kaweesi died. The delay was about the technical analysis by our scientists as to the best types and, of course, the financing. These are not cheap or free gifts.
I am told that to cover all the towns and highways will require scores of millions of dollars. All those have, however, been finalized. Therefore, those who think nothing has been done on the cameras should note what I have said above. Only that things take time like most phenomena in life.
You need to put in context why the issue of cameras had not been addressed until the recent murders of Sheikhs, Joan Kagezi and Kaweesa. The original reason was many priorities.
Since 2006, the NRM correctly prioritized: roads (Shs4,800 bn), electricity (Shs1,720 bn); Education (Shs2,820 bn); Health (Shs1,870 bn); defence (Shs1,040 bn) and ICT (using a Chinese soft loan).
As already said, the defence portion went to mainly rural operations and capacity building (helicopter gunships etc). In the rural areas, helicopter gunships pulverize terrorists. That is why Uganda is now secure from rural terrorists (Kony, ADF etc ).
However, a helicopter gunship cannot locate a lone assassin in town or a kidnapper. These types of crime were not the main problem that time. That is why we were still depending on the old police methods mainly based on human sources for information.
But prioritization of roads and electricity has served us well. When you travel by tarmac road from Oraba (South Sudan border) through Koboko to Kampala, a distance of 671kms; you travel from Kampala- through Kisoro to Bunagana (488kms), you travel from Busia- through Kampala- Fort Portal – Bundibugyo to Busuunga on the Congo border(537km); you travel from Musingo through Kitgum to Gulu -Koch-Goma- Anaka to Olwiyo(236.7km), etc etc- all tarmac roads, you know that prioritization is a correct way.
Kamwe- kamwe nugwo muganda (one by one makes a bundle). Now that the urban criminals have invited us to concentrate on them by killing our people, I can assure you, they will pay heavily for their evil acts.
With the right equipment ( cameras, forensic capacity with the Govt analytical Laboratory, NIRA etc) and tighter control of telephone companies, fighting criminals in towns is easier than fighting terrorists in the rural areas.
Some of the responders talked about the Entebbe women that were killed, the people in Masaka that were hacked, the killing of Kaweesi, etc. In many of those cases, a number of suspects have been arrested and arraigned in courts of law. It is also true that in some cases, arrests have not been made.
The issues of jobs and poverty need to be constantly addressed.
I have advised you on the four sectors with jobs and wealth: Commercial Agriculture; Industries (big and small ); Services (transport, hotels, banking, insurance, professional services like lawyers, accountants etc); and ICT such as call centres, BPOs (business processes outsourcing).
Each of you should identify where s/he thinks they can contribute and then seek for government support.
Politically, the youth should work with us to increase the wealth funds (Youth Fund, Women Fund, OWC/ NAADS Fund, Innovation Fund etc) and make sure that it is managed better.
If the local leaders are mismanaging these funds, we can have alternative arrangements. On my part, I am most gratified that I put these funds in place. You now help to make sure they are well managed.
We can all struggle against waste and corruption. Let the youth, using these Funds, make shoes, clothes, furniture, food-processed products, ceramics etc.
The fifth sector is Public Service where there are only 400,000 jobs.
You cannot argue that because there is unemployment, there must, therefore, be crime. Crime will create more unemployment because investors will run away.
A crime- free society is the one that will solve problems of unemployment once they address the cost-hikers in production (poor roads, lack of railway, lack of water transport, lack of electricity, high cost of money). This is precisely why we prioritized the roads, electricity etc. It is in order to solve the problem of unemployment.
On the issue of the laxity of Police, the Prisons etc. It is true there is quite a bit of laxity and there could even be infiltration by criminals. That is why a number of police staff were arrested. They are now in courts.
Laxity is shown by the escape of the suspected dangerous criminals from a courtroom like the ones in Masaka who were accused of hacking people.
They had a few prison guards, four I hear, and they had removed the hand cuffs (empiingo) from them. Why? That is, apparently, the court procedures. Those criminals will have to be re-arrested.
We are solving the hardware issue (cameras etc) and soft is easy to handle because the ones who have the opportunity to serve , if they fail, plenty of other Ugandans are available, educated and will serve. Infrastructure is important. Even good policemen need better equipment. It simplifies the work.
I thank you for the engagement on social media and we shall continue.