Government should dispel siege mentality

Sunday March 4 2018

Many Ugandans are currently seized by a siege mentality. A casual check through what Ugandans post on Facebook, Twitter or share on WhatsApp, and indeed what they say on radio, television or write in newspapers, say on Boda Boda stages and taxi parks and in other social gatherings proves this assertion.

So much is being said about killings, kidnappings, fights among security agencies, thefts and robberies, and many such topics. Many Ugandans and foreigners have been robbed, killed or died under questionable circumstances.

On February 6, as Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) marked its 37th anniversary, President Museveni said the country is in peace from one corner to the other corner and vowed that nobody will disturb the peace.

The President’s statement could be true in as far as there is no open war in any part of Uganda but the absence of war does not necessarily imply there is peace.

Take a sample of some of the things that have happened in the last few years and there is definitely a cause for worry.

Women killings in Wakiso and other parts of the country, the killings of people in Masaka, leaflets dropped warning communities with killers following through with their warnings, the Kasese massacre, killings of police officers and other security personnel, armed robberies, fights within security entities etc.

The wave of kidnaps are the latest and the people are asking.
What is happening? Why? Who is in charge? What and who is next? We believe government should come out quickly and decisively not only to reassert its control but also bring all culpable to justice.

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kizza, has suggested that Parliament be recalled in order to discuss the rise of insecurity and criminality in the country. We believe this could be one of the forums were a robust debate and solutions to this problem can be found before the situation escalates.
Government should also institute an objective investigation of the situation, generally, in order to get to the root causes of the problem. Ugandans want answers.

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