Security situation in Uganda: Security heads paint rosy picture

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

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Uganda’s security chiefs have assured the public that there is no need to worry because they are on top of the situation in the country.

As the country was trying to come to terms with the recent rampant kidnaps and murders in the past few months, another calamity hit when Arua Municipality Member of Parliament was assassinated.

As he returned home in Matugga, Wakiso district on Friday evening, Abiriga’s beetle Volkswagen was showered with bullets killing him instantly together with his bodyguard brother.

A number of people have since questioned the security situation in the country and the ability by government to protect Ugandans.

However, addressing a national security briefing at the Kampala Serena hotel on Monday, the various chiefs in the country said they are on top of the game.

“The general security of the country isn’t as alarming as some people would want others to believe. We’re in charge. I admit we have had a spate of kidnaps but we’re in charge, the security is doing what it’s supposed to do,”the Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola said.

“There are people out there who have been raising anxiety but if we weren’t in charge, there would be lawlessness everywhere.”

According to the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen.David Muhoozi said that security organs are unified and at the top of the situation in the country.

He however mentioned that there are some elements of criminality caused by what he termed as snippet cells of ADF rebels but said these have been amplified due to publicity adding anxiety to the public.

Abiriga assassination
Speaking during the special parliamentary session for Abiriga, the Leader of Opposition in parliament, Winnie Kizza asked government to work on the security situation, which is one of the niches of the ruling NRM government.

“People have been voting NRM because they can at least sleep. Unfortunately, now sleep is just a privilege and if you wake up you are not sure you will end the day,”Kiiza rapped at government on Sunday.

Buhweju Member of Parliament Francis Mwijukye warned government against terming the killers as idiot and pigs because according to him, they are serious people.

However, when asked about the progress of investigations in the brutal murder of the Arua Municipality, Ochola said the joint taskforce has strong leads to the arrest of suspects in the crime.

“Ever since the incident took place, we have embarked on investigations and we have some leads we are following but I can’t divulge. We are on right track,” the police boss said.

The government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo noted that there are naysayers to create anxiety among the public basing on political lines but noted these should not be entertained.

He urged Ugandans to have confidence in their government.

“Don’t lose confidence in your government and security agencies because if you do so it will yield criminals. We should speak with one voice as Ugandans against criminals,”Opondo urged.

Security minister Gen.Elly Tumwine added his voice to castigate people whose main aim is to blame and cause terrorism in the minds of Ugandans than looking for solutions to various problems.

The Defence Minister, Adolf Mwesigye said there are a number of catastrophes that security agencies averted due to intelligence but expressed concern that these have not been always highlighted in the media.

“Those are not reported and not talked about. People are referring to us as an island of people because of joint effort of security forces,” the Defence Minister said.

The security chiefs however noted that there are a number of measures put in place to ensure they streamline the security problem in the country.

“We are now putting in place a number of measures including taking stock of fire arms in individual hands. We shall record each fire arm and its features so if one is used in mischief, we can get the owner,” Gen. Muhoozi noted.

“In most cases we respond after the fact but we want to have first line of security in form of Local Defence Units and can be reinforced by other security agencies.”

The Internal Affairs minister, Gen.Jeje Odong however asked the public and the media to desist from bashing government for failure to step up their game in ensuring security because the criminals are part of the society.

“They don’t come from outside world but are amongst us. They are your brothers, fathers and relatives. We all live in dynamic societies,”Odong said.

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