Address insecurity threats immediately

The suspected armed robbers. Photo | Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • The issue: Insecurity
  • Our view:  Whereas the responsibility to keep safe primarily rests on the shoulders of individuals, security forces – who are paid out of taxpayers’ money – must act to avoid lawlessness.

The weekend supermarket armed robbery, said to have happened at Mulago Cell, Ntawo Ward in Mukono Municipality, has sent chills across the metropolitan.

The incident came on the back heel of many cases reported across the Kampala Metropolitan Area in the past months.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga yesterday announced that two suspects - one 23 years and the other 24 - had been arrested in connection with the robbery. We hope this goes all the way to busting the racket.

In Kyengera, Wakiso District, about nine armed thugs donning military fatigues erected roadblocks in a swamp between Kyengera and Nabbingo where they robbed many unsuspecting motorists on Monday night.

Before that, there was a report of thugs staging a roadblock at a swamp in Buloba, Mityana Road, where boda boda riders were rounded up and robbed of belongings. This operation lasted more than one hour and police manning that area did not get wind of it until after three hours later when the suspects had fled.

The cases are many, and now police say the Friday robbery could have been carried out by elements connected to suspects who have been terrorizing residents in Nagalama and Mukono, and are now detained at Flying Squad headquarters in Kampala as investigations continue.

The incidents – one may argue – have brewed under the heavy blanket of hard economic times occasioned by two long lockdowns and sky rocketing commodity prices.

As a result, many business communities now fear operating longer into the night and, therefore, do not benefit from the return of the night economy. Similarly, families now spend sleepless nights over fear of burglary.

Such incidents not only cause panic and fear, but also raise questions on the government’s ability to keep all else under check.  

Some of the suspects have in the past month been arrested with military stores. And no one has told the public how these groups access the equipment – or at least tell us if the investigations hit a dead end or not.

A country that boasts of security should be able to tell who owns the guns used in the robberies. Otherwise lack of this information would only point to one thing – that the state has failed in its mandate to protect citizens.

Whereas the responsibility to keep safe primarily rests on the shoulders of individuals, security forces – who are paid out of taxpayers’ money – must act to avoid lawlessness.

We do not wish to go back to the killings of 2018 and the Masaka-like incidents.

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