Insecurity: Museveni shifts blame from security organ to courts of law

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Fellow Ugandans and, especially the Bazukulu First of all, condolences on the killing of the young Bazukulu Maria Nagirinya and Ronald Kitayimbwa by the criminals as the two were at the gate of the former’s residence at 23:49 hours on the night of August 28, 2019.

Also condolences on the murder of Joshua Rushegyera and Merina Tumukunde on the night of September 5, 2019, between 22:28 and 23 hours on the Entebbe Expressway. Joshua Rushegyera was my nephew, being a son of my cousin Kyohairwe, who was married to a National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporter in Bushenyi known as Rushegyera. There have been other killings reported in the Lyantonde area.

As I told you before, these criminals are pigs. Anybody who kills people outside war is a pig. Moreover, many are stupid. They forget that all crime leaves clues and eventually, the criminals will be captured. Up to the killing of Kaweesi, Kiggundu, and Abiriga, the security infrastructure had lagged behind.

You remember after those killings, I presented to Parliament a 10-point anti-crime plan on June 20, 2018. Although we have only partially implemented it, many of the killers in recent times have been arrested.

The Masaka gang of Kiddawalime was wiped out (killed or arrested), Serugo Paul and his syndicate in Masaka, Kanyesigye Juilius alias Amon Mwesigye in Rwizi and Kampala and the Usafi mosque criminal syndicate were neutralized. With the modest investments we have made in the anti-crime infrastructure, the criminals are in trouble. Why? They are leaving behind many clues which were not the case before.

Secondly, they are helping us to expose the weaknesses of the Police or their allies in the Police. Take the case of Nagirinya. When she was kidnapped, the relatives immediately informed the Police of Kibumbiro Police post at Nateete-Busega by about 00:43 hours. The officer there should have informed all the Police units and patrol cars and the camera centers about the type of car that had been hijacked.

The cameras then would track that vehicle and those criminals would have been arrested or killed before they abandoned the car at Nateete, after dumping the bodies of the victims in Mukono. The officer at Kibumbiro Police post-Nateete- Busega says she tried to contact the 999 but the 999 was not picking until 00:50 hours.

What is this? Criminal negligence or collusion? Whatever it was, we are slowly moving forward. On account of the cameras and other technical means, we are now able to know who did not do his work. The policemen in the camera centers were asleep, only waking up to “retrieve” pictures from the memory of the cameras. Rubbish.

You are not only supposed to retrieve pictures that happened some hours ago. You are supposed to watch live and tell the patrol vehicles to act promptly. All these have been arrested. I have directed that all involved must be tried, sentenced, punished and dismissed from the Police.

Moreover, they should never work in any government department ever, again. There are many Bazukulu who are looking for jobs and if those who are in uniform today cannot do their job, there are plenty who will replace them. This is all before we introduce the other measures, such as the digital (electronic) registration of all vehicles and motorcycles so that we electronically track every vehicle.

It will tighten the rope around the neck of criminals. Even in the case of Rushegyera and Tumukunde, there are signs of negligence by the Police. I am awaiting the details.

Criminals always leave clues. With better technology, like what we are acquiring, identification becomes easy. In the US, as you normally hear, there are mass shootings every other week. However, identification is always fast. 

That is where we are heading. You may commit a crime, carelessly taking away the lives of others; however, you will also lose your own life. We need to make this clear to the courts. It must be an eye for an eye. Nothing less will be acceptable to the freedom fighters that I represent and the entirety of the electorate of Uganda that I represent.

Otherwise, using the still incomplete technology of the cameras and other methods, the suspected criminals in the following cases have been arrested and presented to the courts:

1. In the Susan Magara case, 9 suspects have been arrested. They are already in the High Court. Two suspects are known but are still on the run.

2. In July last year, robbers attacked Muto Hardware shop in Masaka and robbed sh400m. Two people were shot. A gun from a Reserve Force Personnel was robbed. The gun has been recovered plus two other illegal guns from that group. Eight suspects were tried in the General Court Martial and three have so far been convicted to 40 years each. Others are awaiting their sentence.

3. In Ssenge, Wakiso, criminals attacked a veteran, Mrs Bakari; the Police responded to the neighbour’s alarm, one robber was shot dead. The Police recovered a telephone handset on site. Three other suspects were arrested. They are in court.

4. The arrests in the Ssenge, Wakiso case, led to another robbery in Kiboga of sh33m at Bukomero trading centre. Those robbers were riding on motorcycles. They tried to escape on motorcycles. The wanainchi chased them and killed one of them. Another one was injured in the robbery, he could not run and his colleagues killed him so that he is not captured by the Police and reveal information about them. Nevertheless, from the clues left by the criminals, one of them was arrested in Namutumba and another one in Bukomansimbi. The gun they were using was recovered from a hotel in Kiboga. Apparently, these two robbers were also linked to the crime in Muto, Masaka.

5. On June 11, 2019, responding to information, the Police recovered two guns from Lugala, Masanafu. One person was arrested, but another one ran away. When the guns were taken for scientific analysis, it was found that they had been used in five robberies and murders as follows:

I. The case of Kikumbi zone, Bunamwaya, where a Turkish national was robbed of his medicine bag, thinking that it contained money;

II. On May 14, a mobile money dealer known as Mwesigwa was going home in the area of Kabusu and was robbed of sh610,000 and a student of Uganda Martyrs’ University was shot dead. The cartridges recovered from the scene matched the gun recovered;

III. On May 17, 2019, a mobile money agent known as Nalukwago Sanyu in Kajjansi C-cell Zone was fired at and they robbed sh18m from her; they had been trailing her using vehicle Toyota Wish Reg. Number UBE 418A;

IV. On May 10 in Mbale, the Police planned to intercept these criminals; in the process, one Police officer was killed and others were injured; and

V. On June 10, two young women, Nakabubi and Nalwadda, were killed at Zzana cell, Ssabagabo. All these were crimes by the group that was using the guns of Lugala, Masanafu. Those that were arrested are:

  • 1) Lance Corporal Mubale, formerly of UPDF;
  • 2) Private Anican Bob, formerly of UPDF;
  • 3) Private Mwangusho, formerly of UPDF;
  • 4) Ntale Issa aka Ganja, a bodaboda rider.

What is most annoying is that three of these had been soldiers at Kabamba and in 2006, they stole a car only to find somebody who knew them whom they decided to kill in order to conceal their crime.

They were discovered, tried and sentenced to death by the Court Martial. The civilian court reduced the sentence to only 18 years and, recently, the same civilian system released them. As a consequence of the actions of those civilian courts rubbishing the work of the guardians of peace, a total number of four Ugandans have died needlessly and the freedom fighters had to, again, burn the midnight candle so as to arrest these killers, again.

They are now in the Court Martial, again. As I write now, the killers of Nagirinya have all been arrested, including the red-jacketed character that was driving Nagirinya’s car after killing her. Therefore, two issues on crime; number one, the criminals will all be caught, even the killers of Joan Kagyezi, the Muslim sheikhs etc. It is a matter of time. We have clues on all these.

Secondly, political leaders must harmonise with the courts on the issue of the fundamental concept of justice. The NRM concept, for most of the time, is an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. It is only in politics where we adopted reconciliation as a strategy. Part of the reason for being soft in reconciliation is that we had already punished our opponents seriously in war.

It is, therefore, not correct to say that those mistake-makers were not punished. They were punished in the conflict. With peace, it was in the national interest to reconcile. This is totally different from the phenomenon of civilian courts condoning, aiding and abetting crime by, contrary to the wishes of the country, exonerating criminals.

This is promoting impunity. Even in the case of Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa, the Police have already made some arrests. The criminals will all be found. We need to work on the courts. They need to move quickly on the cases of murder, rape and terrorism, the big backlog of cases notwithstanding. The punishments must also be severe, including the hanging of killers. The NRM always believes in the Law of Moses: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.