We should not look at the growing insecurity casually – says UPC

(Last Updated On: 8 March 2023)

Uganda has thousands of LDUs ‘primarily’ recruited to help their senior personnel handle the security of the country and UPC is still worried less is being done.

The growing wave of insecurity in Uganda is worrying both nationals and political parties. In recent weeks, Police outposts and stations, including a military barrack have been attacked by armed men. Some of the officers have been killed and their guns were stolen.

In retaliation, the state security personnel have gunned down those suspected to be doing the attacks. The government has now admitted that rebels are to be blamed for the attacks. This was announced by State Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen David Muhoozi while giving his statement on the same before a Parliamentary sitting on Wednesday.

Gen Muhoozi said these attacks on men and women in uniform started in November 2021, adding that the attackers intend to get guns for their subversive work. 

Reacting to the current state of (in) security affairs in the country, Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) party seems worried. At their weekly press conference delivered by the party’s spokesperson Arach Oyat Sharon on Wednesday, UPC said Uganda as a country has had its past that reflects a degree of insurgency. 

This can be explained in terms of the political crisis and military coups of 1971 and 1985, she added. With gunmen in charge of the country in those years, Oyat recalled that it was easy to apportion blame as far as insecurity is concerned. 

“As for the 1966 crisis, the instability could be fully analyzed and understood! The civil wars of 1981 to early 2000 were also easy to trace the origin of violence, instability, insecurity, and wanton killings of people in the country which would inform the Government on the next strategic course of action,” she added.

“Today, what the country is undergoing is indeed causing much concern and we should not look at it casually, but needs a very serious national focus, study, and strategy. Uganda has been on the edge of this situation for quite some time!”

For instance, she told a Wednesday press conference that “fires have been burning markets, schools, and other business premises, especially timbers.” Also, she said: “Mobile money operators, Supermarkets, fuel stations, and hardware shops are under constant attacks. Specialized domestic robberies are rampant.”

The increased domestic violence of late, according to UPC is alarming and so many people have died, others injured or disfigured for good. The continued attack on men and women in uniform at Police stations and army barracks as well as wanton killings of citizens is much worrying and wondering what is left of the common man and his property!

“UPC is calling upon the government and all her investigative agencies like the criminal Investigative Department (CID)/Special Branch, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), and Internal Security Organisation (ISO) among others to intensify efforts in the search for those who commit such adverse crimes and be brought to book.”

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However, for all government initiatives to succeed, The police should have good working relationships with the public as all the criminals are part and parcel of society as our children or friends and do hide, or conceal themselves in societies, the party has guided.

Should we blame Covid-19?

UPC said at the same conference that the onset of Covid-19 pandemic with its lockdowns, did not only affect that very period, adding that the post-Covid lockdown is more demanding as most of small and medium businesses collapsed. This has induced massive unemployment and poverty. 

UPC’s Sharon Oyat during one of their Wednesday press briefing. File photo.

“Few countries have managed to roll out stimulus packages, hence prices of goods and services have continued to be out of reach for the ordinary people. Uganda is caught up with Covid-19 challenges, an army of unemployed youths which makes it easier to lure them into negative actions in society like robbery and drug abuse which need urgent attention.”

This growing wave of insecurity is not good at all for a country that is having neighbors who are in a phase of civil war (s) like DRC and New South Sudan. “We need peace at all times as it is a key ingredient towards investments and national development.”

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