Accounting for every citizen is the solution to insecurity

Monday March 27 2017
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Robert Atuhairwe

What happens when a high level security official goes down too early when he or she should be the safeguard for others? It sets everybody on the agony train. It hurts to see the authorities puzzled by what’s going on, solemnly filing in to mourn with the rest. The demise of AIGP Felix Kaweesi in a mafia-style shooting will forever remain etched in the minds of all peace loving, security conscious and exemplary citizens. It underpins the horror of the indescribable face of a terror wave bedevilling the entire globe.

None of these acts is isolated from another; right from the wanton bombings in mid-Arab countries, shootings in Paris, San Bernadino and so on. All killers are the same and they are stoppable!
The idea by President Museveni, a security guru- who must wonder how armed officers can so easily succumb-for installation of CCTVs countrywide is a bright suggestion with the right thinking. Where human intelligence experiences limitations, innovation and deployment of technology is the answer.
But CCTV technology also has limitations such poor visibility in bad lighting conditions and reliance on electricity. They can also be vandalised. No criminal is proud of their acts and they are never as brave as they seem. They are only emboldened by anticipation of getting away or fulfilling their plan and benefitting from it.

The more sophisticated criminals work out a plan based on prior information they gather on a place or individual target. In the case of Kaweesi, they must have studied his routine for an extended period of time and ascertained when he was most vulnerable.
CCTVs would at least curtail the freedom such killers have to access their targets without fear of being observed and recorded. But the sure solution is an upgraded and personalised form of “CCTV” whose workings I am not at liberty to disclose here for high security considerations.

The adaptation will ensure that every citizen can be accounted for and located at anyone moment with pinpoint accuracy.
As for the practice of foreign, “undocumented” people flocking the country via unknown places and for unknown reasons; we need to take the example set by American president, Donald Trump. Some of us supported this unusual and ultra-idealistic man because he presented clearly well-laid out plans to account for every US citizen and anybody who entered its borders. Vetting members is a standard practice for any civilised and orderly society. If small groups such as social clubs, schools vet their membership, why not countries when necessity deems so? Why should someone violate the sovereignty of a country through illegal entry and presence when others have complied with laws of the land to retain their citizenship?

Some other exercise the government has to undertake is to launch a digital system that automatically records births, deaths, exits and entries.
In the case of the murders, the pattern shows that it’s the same people working with the same thinking and motive. All the slain victims so far have a link to ongoing investigations. In fact, it’s possible to guess who is next though we are all targets.

But no one is going to stop serving their roles for fear of falling to an assassin’s bullet or bomb.
In the near future, such acts will be bound to the tether of history. Technology is the recourse when humanity cannot explain everything. We cannot rely on human intelligence and sensibility. Beside, while real human beings are genuinely moved by brutality and bloodletting, images so common in the mass media and around us, the trend doesn’t seem to reflect that everyone is concerned and refraining from participating in carrying out gruesome acts.


Mr Atuhaire is a member of the Commonwealth writers group. [email protected]