Thursday July 24 2014

Restore citizens trust in government investigations and reports

By Julius Wasswa

With the recent murder of a Makerere University professor whose body was found hanging and decomposing in Najjembe (Mabira Forest), I wondered why it is still easy and convenient for people to commit gross atrocities.
Whenever the country wakes up to such shocking news, the concerned government institutions swear by their swords, how they will quickly apprehend the criminals and bring them to justice.

This always gives the impression that State institutions have the capacity to meticulously investigate crime, and that every crime can be investigated, if such institutions and government are willing.

To my displeasure the vigilance with which investigations are carried out doesn’t usually correspond with the public anxiety and initial vows of the investigating institutions.

It takes unnecessarily long to complete the investigations and report back to the public. In practice, the commissions of inquiry are unnecessarily multiplying by the day, alongside the constitutionally recognised and empowered State institutions.

The delay to complete investigations and prosecute culprits neutralises public anxiety and vigilance, normalises crime and also gives the next culprits motivation and courage to commit more crime.

Government must reinstate public confidence that it has the capacity to meticulously investigate crime, and that every crime can be investigated. Otherwise, I may maintain that the failure or delay to make Uganda a murder-free society is government’s choice.

Julius Wasswa,