By our reporter
In the midst of murders and kidnaps across the country, Uganda’s Security chiefs last night moved to reassure the public of the general security situation in the country as the wave of insecurity heightens during a well advertised prime television time.
However, the viewers were largely disappointed that there was a general lack of a cohesive message to meet their objective as the show left more questions than answers provided.
The central message of the dialogue was to tell the country that “This is happening everywhere, not only Uganda,” and that, the “media” and “politicians” were spinning insecurity propaganda beyond the real situation.
Many Ugandans are living in fear for their lives, as kidnaps and killings go on unchecked.
What started as killing of women in Wakiso district and panga wielding gangs in the Greater Masaka region has graduated into kidnaps where perpetrators ask for ransoms, then, go ahead to kill their victims.
The latest which took the country by storms was last Friday when NRM diehard and Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga was gunned down in Kawanda near his home alongside his brother who also doubled as his bodyguard.
The meeting of top security managers comprising heads of security organs and ministers, was televised live from Kampala Serena Hotel, to the public which sought answers on what the security were going to do the next morning.
However, that message didn’t come through, instead security bosses threw around jabs at the media and politicians who they blamed for being alarmists.
Police chief Okoth Ochola said, “I would like to inform the nation that the security situation in the country is not as alarming as some people want to portray.”
However Security minister Gen. Elly Tumwine admitted that they “don’t know where they (kidnappers and assassins) are coming from…”, but, consoled his listeners that, “such have been happening everywhere in the world”.
Ugandans are looking for answers from the government to explain the current wave of kidnaps and assassinations and practical measures taken to curb the mayhem.
President Museveni has reassured the population that security cameras will be installed at least to see the faces of the culprits. He also used Abiriga’s burial speech to outlaw jackets with hoodies as measures to reign in the boda boda industry which largely lacks accountability. The president directed that boda boda be registered and each to wear helmets with numbers.
Instead of reiterating the president’s messages, Gen Tumwine shot the salvo saying today’s security crisis is not the “worst” the country has witnessed.
The minister was speaking to more than 70% of Ugandans who were not alive as his National Resistance Army stormed Kampala in 1986.
It was the chief of defence forces, Gen. David Muhoozi, who saved the situation, when he sounded a sober and reasonable arguments.
Gen Muhoozi said a lot is being done behind the cameras, despite some lapses which the forces were fixing.
Gen Muhoozi said, “Sometimes it seems as if we undermine the importance of life, we don’t! We attach value to everyone.”
He added, “The challenge we have is with the system. Some people are arrested and then left for technical reasons. Some of these people end up repeatedly becoming the criminals.”
IGP Ochola said, “There are a number of guns out there in wrong hands, we had ADF and other groups. We have embarked on exercise to document all the guns in the hands of the civilian and after that those with illegal guns will be dealt with firmly.”
Ochola urged the public to be cautious of their environment and report any suspicious persons around you.