Uganda: Government Admits Failure in Handling Insecurity

Government yesterday revealed that it has only tackled three out of the 12 action points President Museveni pledged to the country last year as measures to curb insecurity in the country.

In the wake of rampant murders and assassinations, Mr Museveni, on June 20 last year, listed a 12 action points that he said the government would use to tackle insecurity.

They were; installation of the CCTV cameras, recruiting and deploying Local Defense Units (LDUs), finger printing of guns, establishing a forensic laboratory, requiring every vehicle to have electronic number plates, re-introducing the 999 response system, and addressing social media misuse.

Others were; outlawing wearing of hoods while riding or travelling on boda boda motorcycles, introduction of helmets with illuminated numbers, introduction of more security scanners, regulation of the use of drones, and encouraging installation of private CCTV cameras.

While presenting a response on a matter of national importance raised by the Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Mr Francis Zaake, concerning the current spate of kidnaps and sequent murders of victims yesterday, the Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odongo, revealed that the government has taken reasonable steps in installation of CCTV cameras, recruitment of LDUs and finger printing of guns.

“In relation to the installation of CCTV cameras in phase one (Kampala Metropolitan Police area), we now stand at about 70 per cent. We hope to conclude installation of CCTV cameras by end of September 2019, then thereafter we shall embark on phase two and three which is covering the whole country,” the Minister stated.

Gen Odongo, who said government is on truck in the recruitment and deployment of LDUs, revealed that at least 68 per cent of guns in police, army, private security companies and private individuals, have been finger printed. He also said police has reinstated the emergency calling hotline commonly known as 999 for people to report any kind of crime so as immediate response is made.

He told Parliament that with the presidential security action points already acted on, the security agencies have made commendable achievements including a peaceful Christmas festive season of 2018, the successful martyrs pilgrimage at Namugongo on June 3 and decline in crime rate.

Concerning the remaining action points not yet tackled, he said that government is working hard to ensure that they are fulfilled and promised to bring progress report to Parliament.

“The question of the forensic laboratory to assist in scientific investigations still lies with this August House. I would like to appeal to you members to expedite this. We continue to work on all the other action points and I shall be briefing this august house on progress as and when necessary,” he said.

On current incidents

Concerning the current security threats that includes kidnaps and murders across the country, the Minister said the situation was not alarming but blamed the extended discussion and public uproar on “social media hype” which he said only highlights bad incidents and go silent on good acts by security agencies.

He warned against politicising of security matters adding that those not happy with the achievements of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government are creating situations of fear through social media.

“Drug abuses and actions of criminals who return to the society after serving custodial sentences, are some of the cause of the current trend of criminality that includes kidnaps, murders and robberies,” he said.

He added that the murder of a boda boda rider in Rubaga that was captured on CCTV camera two months ago, the robbery of a hardware shop in Nansana and Kanyana, were perpetuated by a gang of former convicts released in April, which has been “dealt with”.

Among the persistent challenges the minister said include increase of duplicate telephone handsets that make it difficult to track criminals and the high expenses incurred by private individuals or institutions in acquiring CCW cameras.

On tackling the murders and kidnaps, he said: “Government is carrying out multi-sectoral consultations between the Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Security, Ministry of Kampala City Council Authority and Ministry of Local Government with a view to coming up with a policy guide on how to control and manage the boda boda Industry.”

The outcome of this multi-sectoral consultation will feed into a Committee chaired by the Prime Minister on this same matter, the Minister said.

Not happy

Mr Zaake parched holes in Gen Odongo’s statement saying he did not address the specific issues concerning the kidnaps of Ugandans who end being found dead.

“The Minister has not satisfied the question I asked on kidnaps and murders. I gave an example of the kidnap of James Kalumba of Kajjasi and I even sent you evidence but you have not told us about that,” he said.


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Publish date : 2019-09-06 16:35:01

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