BY ISAIAH NGABIRANO
Insecurity has become the talk of the town in Uganda that not a day passes without hearing a kidnap or a killing knowing that the people who are committing these atrocities walk free on the streets and are possibly planning to commit more of the same crimes. The main question remains, are we safe?
Time and time again we have seen security take a large chunk of the budget, something I actually support because there is no government without people. But if security is receiving all of this funding, why is the nation not safe anymore? Why is everyone scared that at any moment they can be killed or kidnapped?
Basing on the recent events that have been taking place like the killing, in cold blood, of the former IGP Felix Kaweesi in 2017 and more recently, Arua municipality Member of Parliament Ibrahim Abiriga, the kidnap and brutal murder of Susan Magara after her parents had failed to pay the hefty ransom, all whose murders have not been solved, I decided to seek people’s opinions on the insecurity that is looming in this country. This is what the people of Uganda have to say.
“I really don’t understand why the police is always protecting these ministers and MPs and then one wakes up to headlines of so and so was killed. The security forces should be put through some serious training like forensics in order to always find what caused these crimes. Security should be taught by parents to their children for example not trusting strangers people should also take precautions and keep their own security because the Government will still be around even when they are dead.” Said Derrick, a student at Makerere University.
Hamad, a Boda-boda rider at Kyaliwajjala stage suggested that the government should actually come up with some solutions to these killings instead of always blaming Boda-boda riders who are trying to make ends meet. When asked for the solutions that can be come up with in order to stop or reduce the insecurity, he suggested that Uganda’s security should try to benchmark from the other countries because the other countries have probably had the same issues some even worse.
Esther a student from Makerere University Business School (MUBS) says, “I don’t feel safe in Uganda anymore. I live in fear of being kidnapped since the kidnappers majorly are targeting the girls. I beg the Government to get organized and start to put into action all of the plans that are always being drafted instead of wasting time debating on whether or not someone should stay in power or not because the country should be protected from such evil acts.”
I spoke to Kamba, a student also from MUBS who believed that the insecurity is largely caused by the large number of unemployed youth who end up indulging in criminal activities like kidnapping or theft after searching for jobs in vain, yet they have to sustain their lives. To attain safety in the nation, the government should find a way of providing employment to the citizens.
He further mentioned that the poor conditions that the officers work in and the low salaries they receive do not motivate them to focus on their main objective which is to keep law and order which hinders the keeping of security in Uganda.
During the budget reading for the financial year 2018/2019, Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija said that there is a proposed regional forensic referral centre (RFFC) for the Uganda police force to start working on the constant insecurity worries from the public. He added that the “safe city project” which involves the installation of CCTV cameras is also going to begin in this financial year and also the implementation of crime record management system (CRMS) will all take place by the end of this financial year.
The police force is not doing its job right. I believe that if the corruption that is in the police is greatly reduced and education of the police forces on carrying out delicate investigations and handling suspects through other means not necessarily torture and involving more of the public to assist them in investigations, technology should also be involved in their work this can greatly contribute on the improvement of the security situation in Uganda.