The death of Col. Ibrahim Abiriga is still like a dream in deep sleep after long hours of workout on a hot tropical day.
It is still far from the reality to see Afande whom I knew personally as a friend and source what one could term as a highly privy source of information that no person working for the government could offer to a journalist, is gone. Gone not for holidays or recession, but gone forever!
When still The New Vision reporter in West Nile and Editor-in-Chief of Arua One Fm, Afande, by the RDC Arua, could track his trusted reporters down to their homes, leisure places, like bars and pork joints if he failed to find them at work stations, reached by phone to divulge the information regardless of its sensitivity provided that it was factual.
Arua One FM, though privately owned by then (now part of the Vision Group), Afande believed that it was there to fan NRM propaganda since it was owned by one of the presidential advisors.
He could listen to all our programmes. He had trusted the editorial team and normally preferred his press statement be recorded in the news room simply he because he wanted interact with the people at the station. Nonetheless, we could at times go head-on, particularly when the news seemed to be protecting a person whom he considered “corrupt or an opposition. He, however, hated Agbatara, an open air programme (Bimeeza) it was banned in 2009 after the Kayunga riot. He could storm the gathering at Hot Pot restaurant, the host, if he deemed that the topic discussed “against the government” , it was sensible. He was the happiest when Agbatara was banned.
However, that is not my point today. Afande you are gone. Only if they had put their guns down, you would have still been here.
My point is about the rushed measures the state imposes on the ordinary citizens when their own is killed without apprehending the perpetrators or doing a thorough investigation thereafter. The use of seat belts and speed governors were imposed when Francis Ayume died in a motor accident but who talks about them again? Surveillance cameras were planted in some streets of Kampala and Entebbe highway during the Chogm, where are they today? Mention them.
Today, the ban on the hood is announced, helmets to be numbered with reflectors, no tinted car glasses in order to be able identify and possibly apprehend the assassins. What a Fantasy! The killers of Abiriga, Andrew Kaweesi and Joan Kagezi are enjoying their utmost freedom at the expense of the weak. Address the issue. People are insecure, the country is in shock! The citizen needs assurance not ultimatum by proving that you are still incharge.
Kill the snake that kills your chicken first before tracing tracing where it entered from and set preventive measures. Failure to find, apprehend the killers are just like treating the symptoms of malaria than killing the parasites, just at the detriment of the ordinary citizens. The fear is growing day by day because the real issues of the insecurity are not touched.
Threatening to arrest Hassan Fungaroo or locking Betty Nambooze in police cells, perhaps ordering for restriction of the fundamental rights in criminal justice would not stop the gun wielding assassins.
The state should go back to the drawing board and device new strategies to put the killers out of action or apprehend them on the spot than causing unnecessary suffering of the ordinary people in jail.
Dradenya Amazia Is a Journalist and a student of International and European Law