Terrorist Blackmail and the Mischief of Opposition MPs
Recent actions by opposition MPs though perhaps unrelated to that of the terrorists who threw explosives in Kampala this week seem to come from the same rule book with overall objective to scare Ugandans into submission to criminality.
Two suspected terrorist attacks involving improvised explosives detonated within metropolitan Kampala threatens to subdue our collective security, tranquility, stability and prosperity. While the incidents are scary, Ugandans must collectively close condemn and put efforts in alertness, vigilance and surveillance to defeat the papetrators of this insidious criminality like was done in the past. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Ugandans including security agencies lowered guards on anti-terrorism measures which is being exploited. It's common these days to freely gain entry into places that previously had strict security protocols. Nevertheless, security agencies deserve commendation for thwarting many potentially deadly incidents which never come to public knowledge.
And while the media should report every suspected terrorist incidents care should be exercised not to give any impression that Ugandans are terribly scared of this cowardly tarctic of the criminals. We must continue with normal activities, and also not fall for pranksters who may now enjoy spreading scareby planting fake luggages around.m
The incidents in a local eatery and bar in Kamamboga, and Lugala, Mpigi district on Masaka road come against a background of warning by UK and French embassies here to their nationals over possible terrorist attacks.
They also come weeks after security agencies had neutralised spates of murders of mainly elderly people in Kalungu, Ssembabule, Masaka and Lwengo districts and Masaka city in the Greater Masaka region. Following those gruesome murders of 26 people in rural areas, some suspects including two opposition NUP MPs were arrested and are facing prosecution. Their arrests and detention seem to have quietened the senseless murders pointing perhaps that police may be having the right suspects. Everyone's hope is that facts related to those murders will be meticulously gathered, investigated and used in prosecution to secure conviction.
In the meantime their political allies especially in parliament have unsuccessfully so far tried to create drama to portray that their case is political witch-hunt. Using the media that works like fifth columnists platforms, opposition politicians have been very active driving absurd narratives. In parliament, abusing the privileges available to them, oppositon MPs tried to lure Speaker Jacob Oulanyah into their mischievous scheme to dispatch an 'ambulance' to retrieve MPs Mohammed Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana from court claiming they were too sick and prisons authority couldn't provide proper and adequate medical attention. And because they play tricks, it's problematic believing the seriousness of their claims. Undone, they have conjured many old tricks including deflating their car tyres on the way to court sessions and blaming 'unknown' to attract sympathy. Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana have on each occasion they appeared in court alleged physical torture occassioning grievous bodily harm while in prison but without proving any credible evidence to persuade court to nod in their favour. They now seem to slowly die in own drama.
Earlier on June 1, assassins riding on motorcycles in Kulumbiro, Kawempe Division, Kampala sprayed bullets on Works and Transport Minister Gen. Katumba Wamala's car instantly killing his daughter and driver. Katumba survived the with multiple bbullet injuries. It's a pattern reminiscent of 2016-18, during which a number of Muslim clerics, Arua MP Maj. Ibrahim Abiriga, Kamuli District Police Commander, and former police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kawesi were assassinated in similar situations.
Unless it's the proverbial coicedence of fate, the actions and language of some opposition politicians, and terrorist suspects, appear aimed at undermining security, tranquility and stability as NRM's centre of gravity. Listening to most opposition politicians speaking, one concludes they don't believe that Uganda has been and continues to be targeted by l terrorists. Often, they argue as if terrorists have justification for their actions against Uganda.
Despite horrendous terrostis acts on Uganda, dismantling of terrorists cells across the country, killing, arrests, prosecution and conviction of suspects, opposition actors who often represent them in courts, use emboldened hostile postures.
Ugandans should know that many of these schemes were planned long time ago but have failed because of the capability of the state. Just last month these groups were nipped as they attempted to bomb morners at funeral of Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech in Pader in northern Uganda .
A one Abdul Katumba a.k.a Ben was apprehended while his co-planner Hamid Nsubuga alias Younger who escaped from the scene was finally gunned down in Mpererwe as he fled arrest. Security had cornered him while on another mission to assassintw a prominent politician.
Government critics and those purporting to speak on governance issues should know that violent criminals don't fall from heaven but bred, recruited, and trained from amongst ourselves, misled by people with indsidious agendas. Quite often those who mislead them are the political intelligentia hiding behind supposedly noble causes. It is no brain teaser that some opposition leaders have claimed that suspects in these crimes are their political supporters being 'framed' for b-called challenging the NRM.