By Curthbert Kigozi
As the year comes to an end, Watchdog has listed some of the moments that defined the country in 2018.
Women Kidnaps and Killings
Over 30 women were killed or kidnapped across the country, with most Ugandans blaming security agencies and police for laxity.
Among the many cases was that of the 28-year-old Susan Magara, who was kidnaped and killed in cold blood. Her body was found dumped in Kitiko village between Kigo and Kajjansi on the Entebbe Express Highway on February 27, 2018.
The string of unexplained assassinations did not only stop in 2017 but also came biting harder in 2018.
Among those that fell prey to the invisible hand of assassination this year was the ‘Yellow man’ Ibrahim Abiriga who was gunned down by unknown attackers who were riding on boda boda on the evening of June 8 in Kawanda. The former Arua Municipality legislator was driving, together with his brother brother and body guard Said Kongo, back home.
Outspoken former Buyende DPC Muhammed Kirumira was also gunned downed by unknown attackers near his home in Bulenga on September 8.
Kirumira was with Resty Naalinya, a 26-year-old mobile money operator.
The by-election that was meant to fill the vacancy left by the saddened death of Ibrahim Abiriga became tense. President Yoweri Museveni and musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine were the main principals in the campaigns eventually won by Independent Kasiano Wadri. The by-election itself took a deadly twist with the killing of Bobi Wine’s brother Yassin Kawuma and the stoning of President Museveni’s convoy.
Introduction of the Social Media and Mobile Money Tax
On May 30, 2018, Parliament passed into law the controversial Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill which took effect on July 1.
The law sparked a lot of protests from critics as an attempt to stifle internet freedom and expression. However, Ugandan authorities defended the law as one where citizens will contribute towards the development of their country.
The Lake Victoria catastrophe
November 24 was a tragic day that was full of mixed feelings when MV Templar capsized carrying unspecified number of people on Lake Victoria in Mukono District near Mitima beach.
Marine units of the police and army worked tooth and nail to save as many people as possible as well as retrieve as many bodies as possible from the lake.
Powerful people exposed by the lands commission of inquiry
It’s no dispute that the seven-member committee led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has done wonders by exposing land grabbers. It was absurd to see that people in top offices in the government where among those being summoned by the committee.
Among them was, Lands minister Betty Amongi (she was accused of mismanaging land fund as well as attempting to fraudulently acquire and grabbing of property in upscale of Kololo, Kampala district).
State minister for water Ronald Kibuule who was accused for fraudulently acquiring hectares of land and illegally displacing hundreds of households in Buikwe District.
Public service Minister Muruli Mukasa appeared before the commission amid allegations that he convened with the businessman Abid Alam to forcefully evict more than 2,000 households from the nine villages in Mubende without giving them adequate compensation.
Quiin Abenakyo being crowned Miss Africa.
Despite all the bad that unfolded along the year, it was a moment of joy seeing Quiin Abenakyo being crowned as Miss World Africa at the 2018 Miss World Finale in Sanya, China.
Abenakyo was the first Miss Uganda to make it to the top three top finalists, a reason she and other Ugandans weren’t shy to be proud about.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com