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President Musevenis Security Advice

By Ofwono Opondo

March, 21, 17

Since the assassination over a week ago of Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Andrew Felix Keweesi, which some have described as cowardly, although I wouldn’t agree with that definition, as usual, many ‘experts’ have sprung up with analysises, painting a picture of state security confusion, failure or even collapse. Some have suggested that the NRM government has failed in one of its most singular accomplishments of three decades, which is guaranteeing security of persons, property, and sanctity of human life from lawless criminals.
These ‘analysts’ many of them critics in the opposition seek and hope to generate and spread fear and panic among the general public, as well as high-profile personalities that no one is safe in Uganda today, ‘if an AIGP’ so well protected can be killed in such a manner. Yes, one day you’re the cock of the walk, the next a feather duster, and I submit, that Kaweesi’s assailants were precise, determined, and brash, although reckless as they left footprints.
On that account, some, led by Kizza Besigye are almost doing what many would describe as ‘dancing’ on the graves of those who have died in similar circumstances since 2012, and haven’t been successfully resolved. It is the reason Besigye, his ilk and the gullible media rush to point at the businessmen, Muslim clerics and state prosecutor Joan Kagezi’s cases. Yet, they are shy to acknowledge that in all those cases except Kagezi, police has the suspects in custody and before courts of law under-going prosecution.
It is necessary to remind these pseudo analysts that Uganda has seen, and through its own internal efforts resolved far worse security situations in the recent past than the much quoted combined murders since 2012. We have had the LRA in Northern Uganda, ADF in the Rwenzori region and Kampala. There were the sporadic Kampala bombs in bars, restaurants, and on passenger commuter vehicles. We then had the twin bombing at Kabalagala and Lugogo in 2010. In all these, the masterminds, like Dominic Ongwen, Kwoyelo and Jamil Mukulu ran for decades, but eventually the Ugandan state captured them and are before courts of law. Those involved in the Lugogo and Kansanga terrorist attacks are serving their sentences.
It so saddens that Besigye who has run four times, and perhaps still hopes to do so for the president of Uganda, and therefore commander-in-Chief should be boldly asking why these police and army officers are still taking bullets defending their country, which he describes as ‘rotten’. To Besigye and his group, we need to tell them that many of us are willing to take those bullets and go down in the course of duty including protecting Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the current Commander-in-Chief, and that no amount of negative  insinuations will obviate our patriotic duty.
We have heard this re-cycled political cynicisms from Besigye since Brig. Noble Mayombo’s death in May 2007, posing absurd questions as he does today, as to why “good young men,” like Mayombo or Kaweesi served a ‘wrong regime’. KB, as Commander-in-Chief would certainly need the young men already in the security apparatus to keep the state functional, effective and Ugandans safe.
Since AFK’s assassination the intense debate in the media of what passes for ‘expert’ commentaries are one where Uganda stands today on criminality broadly, and organised crime specifically, in an effort to finger the origin, motive, who, method, why, and perhaps the next intended target of similar, if not worse attacks.
In times like these, while we should listen to all the voices, especially because of previous frustrations, it is necessary not to lose sight of the journey we have made as a country in regaining our freedom, security and stability from criminal elements some of whom within the official structures, and operating with impunity.
Careless glorification of assailants even when against our perceived enemies, government, its agents , organs or allies, should never blindfold our duty to patriotism, because, states and countries will always have opponents, some very vicious adversaries, because after all, why would the Vatican, and Popes have enemies.
And cherry picking Museveni’s cautionary advise that we should be vigilant on basic security to be ready and able to challenge those we suspect to tail-getting shouldn’t be skewed to imply the president advocates recklessness, or even mob-justice. Equally, the president’s directive that CCTV cameras be installed in Kampala and along highways shouldn’t just be dismissed because this can is surely a better system than human intelligence we currently rely on.
While the procurement process is susceptible to abuse by unscrupulous public servants, all efforts should be made it doesn’t happen, and that the current gaps in supportive physical infrastructure like better urban planning, reliable power system, and protection from vandalism are adequately addressed to ensure functionality. CCTV camera can close the loophole of those fleeing from the scene of crime.
Political stability, economic performance and security is Uganda centre of gravity, and the police force is a major pillar of that centre of gravity, with Kayihura and some of his officers as the slices that some enemies would want knocked off. We must keep our guard on alert, and never let them spread fear or panic.