The assassination of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga and his brother last week has puzzled the country and the security establishment as did the cold blood murder of former police publicist Andrew Felix Kaweesi and State prosecutor Joan Kagezi, Bwendero Dairy Farm cashier Susan Magara and several others.
The country is searching for answers, which up to now, have been elusive. Both government and the public are searching for answers to this growing spate of deliberate killings. The public expects confidence-building answers from the government, but our security agencies are providing none. Instead they are feeding the desperate public to seemingly rehearsed assurances that assure nobody.
During a televised briefing to the nation by all security chiefs at Kampala Serena Hotel on Saturday, they repeated the same old and tired rhetorical assurances to arrest the killers and bring them to book.
“The media has created the impression that there is no security and political stability, but there is more security than ever before. We shall get these criminals and arrest them,” said the Minister for Security Gen Elly Tumwine, during the televised security briefing.
President Museveni made similar vows after the murder of Abiriga, Kaweesi and Kagezi. He even called the killers “pigs” and vowed to arrest them. But all these threats have not yielded anything of security value to curb the killings or apprehend the criminals and restore people’s confidence about their safety.
No suspect has ever been arrested or identified, three years after Kagezi’s murder. After the Kaweesi murder in March 2017, about 40 people were arrested, but eventually about 22 were charged in court. This casts a huge doubt on the competence of our investigation agencies and credibility of the intelligence information.
How on earth can 40 people conspire to commit a single murder? This suggests the security were guessing the suspects and went on an arresting expedition based on guesswork, hoping that among the many suspects, the real culprits could be identified.
The same scenario happened in the Magara kidnap and murder. It is now a week since Abiriga was murdered, but no suspect has been arrested or identified.
Our security agencies are providing more threats and insults at the killers than intelligence information leading to their identity and arrest. The government and crime intelligence agencies must up their game. No amount of threats or abuses will catch the killers or stop the killings. Good intelligence will.