Last Updated on: 25th May 2023, 09:29 am
Lira, May 25, 2023: More than 8 people have died in different shootings across the country in the past three weeks.
An average of one person every 48 hours is dead, clouding the month of May as the most dangerous month of the year.
Some people have branded May as “the gun violence month”.
At the beginning of May, two people including State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Col Rtd. Charles Okello Engola was gunned down by his bodyguard, Private Wilson Sabiti.
Later, Sabiti turned the same gun on himself. Isma Tusubira aka Jajja Iculi, and the Indian money lender, Uttam Bhandari were also killed by the gun.
Five of the past killings since the start of May have involved, either members of the State security forces or private guards, who are armed to protect citizens and the country.
However, the rise in gun violence across the country has sparked concerns and criticism against State security agencies.
Former Oyam South Member of Parliament Issah Otto Amiza says the use of guns in Uganda to kill is becoming a very serious matter, describing the suspects or killers as “well-trained persons”.
Otto said that something could be wrong with the UPDF forces following the death of Col. Rtd. Charles Okello Engola after his bodyguard shot him on May 2, 2023.
“Unless the use of guns is regulated and controlled in the country, people will continue to die,” Otoo added.
Prime Minister of Tekwaro Lango, George Ojwang Opota equally showed dissatisfaction with the rampant gun killings across Uganda.
Ojwang says the illegal circulation of guns could be blamed on a number of recent regimes Uganda has had, calling upon the current government to start retrieving all these firearms back.
Opota equally blamed the investigating authorities who, he said, have since failed to produce clear reports on such cases.
Ojwang’s junior and PRO of the rival Tekwaro Lango, Okullu Patrick Okeng, says gun killings across the country are one of the factors in the slow rate of development since this tends to scare away foreign investors.
Okeng is calling upon the government to take up its cardinal role and responsibility in accountability and producing clear reports on the recent killings.
Lango’s elder and ex-army officer, Col. Rtd. Tonny Otoa told TND News that the rampant gun violence is alarming and unfortunate.
“The fact that we are surrounded by countries which are unstable like South Sudan, Congo, and Rwanda among others has seen an influx of guns into Uganda,” Otoa analyses.
According to him, the government has done a lot in keeping security although a few hooligans are killing their compatriots by either malice or hunger.
“I have a strong belief that Uganda is strict in gun control. So, all the weapons used to kill our people are not coming from our stores, they are coming from across the borders like Sudan and South Sudan.
He, however, called upon the security agencies to be alert to this situation to help reduce the deadly vice.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga during a recent parliamentary session to eulogise the late Minister Charles Okello Engola noted that gun violence in the country has never stopped despite the massive funds allocated to purchasing CCTV cameras including the supplementary budget.
According to Mpuuga, the Presidential directive to install CCTV cameras and printing of all firearms across the country was followed in line with the supplementary budget of more than shs376 billion which, he says, has never stopped the killings in the country nor have the cameras been effective in dictating the criminals.
“Even cases that have happened before the camera, a case in point where a police truck in February 2020 deliberately knocked dead a one Rita Nabukenya. Right Hon. Speaker, are these real cameras or dummies?” Mpuuga added.
With the numbers increasing, the big question stands, “Whose gun is used to kill Ugandans and who is behind the syndicate?