President Museveni has vowed to “defeat” armed assailants who attacked and injured former Works and Transport minister Gen Edward Katumba Wamala in a Tuesday morning assassination attempt which left his daughter and driver dead.
Gen (rtd) Museveni said the former chief of defense forces (CDF) was being well-managed and added that the security team has clues to the assailants he described as pigs who do not value life.
“The pigs who do not value life shot at Gen. Katumba killed his daughter and driver and injured him. Condolences on the loss of the two Ugandans. I talked to Gen. Katumba twice on the phone. He is being well-managed. We shall defeat the criminals as we did in the past. We already have clues to those killers. Besides, the new system of digital beacons on all vehicles and Boda Bodas will eliminate the misuse of vehicles and Boda Bodas to commit crimes,” Mr Museveni said in a statement he tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
“I wish Gen. Katumba a quick recovery. The bodyguard should not have shot in the air. He should have shot to kill. We could be having a dead terrorist instead of scaring away the terrorists. His shooting saved Gen. Katumba by scaring the criminals away. However, killing one or more of the terrorists would have done the same and more,” he added.
The former UPDF commander of land forces who is currently admitted at Medipal International Hospital was shot in the shoulders in the attack that left his daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo dead.
The assassination attempt was carried out in the same style as those that led to the death of over 28 people, including top government officials, in the past seven years.
Those killed include 23 Muslim clerics, former MP Ibrahim Abiriga, former Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Prosecutor Joan Kagezi, and Police officer Muhammad Kirumira, among others.
Following a spike in the assassinations, the government invested heavily in CCTV cameras planted around the Kampala metropolitan area with President Museveni saying these would help in tracking and identifying criminals.
Gen Museveni has also in the past made statements promising to “defeat” the “killer pigs” in what appears to be a ritual assurance whenever a murder occurs.
For instance, following the assassination of Abiriga on June 8, 2018, Gen Museveni who described the killers as ‘pigs and parasites’, said the government would dedicate resources towards modernising the anti-crime capacity of the security forces and also require citizens to be more vigilant.
“They [killers] are pigs, they are idiots,” Museveni told residents and the victims’ relatives at the scene of Abiriga’s murder the following day. The president promised to hunt the killers down.
He reiterated the need for installation of CCTV cameras on highways, offices and homes, and tracking of all auto-mobiles in the country through mandatory mounting of tracking devices on vehicles.
‘‘I only need focus from our MPs so that we budget adequately for the anti-crime infrastructure and for wealth and job creation ahead of consumption and administration,’‘Mr Museveni added.
Earlier that year, the president had, in the wake of the shocking brutal murder of city accountant, Susan Magara vowed to bring the “pigs” to book.
Magara, 28, disappeared on February 7, 2018 and had been held for 21 days by her kidnappers who wanted ransom before her body was discovered dumped in Kigo off the Entebbe expressway.
"Susan's murder shows what sort of swine (pigs) we have in Africa that do not value treasures like the beautiful Suzzie whom, unfortunately, I had not had the opportunity of meeting. As for the killers of Susan, we shall get them because there are clues they left behind. I will not allow anybody to interfere with freedom of our young people," Mr Museveni vowed before proposing a number of measures that he hoped would help combat such kind of criminality.
Mr Museveni then suggested that government takes the palm print records of every Ugandan as well as their DNA. According to him, this would be coupled with the CCTV cameras installed in the cities and towns across the country.
"In order to eliminate these criminals, we may have to look at two others measures; capturing the palm-print of everybody and the DNA of everybody. Some elements try to argue that capturing the DNA of epople is not democratic. I cannot understand why it is not democratic. DNA records of everybody are good to compare with blood samples, sweat, sperm etc found at the scene of crime. Palm prints are better than thumb prints because the criminal may leave the palm-print and not thumb print," he said.