Last week, I was in the Masaka area to oversee and contribute effort to modalities of government to stamp out the criminal acts of evil-hearted individuals who are sponsored by the enemies of peace and order. Their actions are aimed at blocking the way to securing our future which the NRM Government pledges and even spelled out in the Manifesto.
Tragically, we lost many people to the assailants who work at night like “night dancers”. This shows that they are elements of darkness and the underworld. I commiserate with those who have lost their loved ones in the senseless killings, and pray that the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace!
When I tweeted that I would be in the area to “oversee” efforts, I got sharp reactions from those who follow me. They were asking “What are you going to do there? Are you a soldier or policewoman? Leave security personnel to do their work” Others suggested that a minister is office-bound and should have nothing to do with being “at the scene of crime”. That as a civilian, I had no cause being on the ground, while others claimed that I was politicising the matter.
Well…that is public feedback and I thank Ugandans for raising their concerns. Similar ideas exist in the minds of many people offline as well.
My operational style is more field-oriented. I am a mobiliser by calling and I don’t do this only during political campaigns. I promise not to abdicate any duty for the comfort of the Kampala office.
When assuming my duties, I promised to offer people-centered service, and that’s what I am fulfilling. In line with the criminality in Buddu, i urge RDCs to be in touch with the people so as to make them partners in development and in administration and, indeed, in fighting criminality and insecurity. They shouldn’t just sit at the district headquarters waiting for reports. Real work is in the field.
I went to Masaka because, as Minister for the Presidency, I supervise Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and Resident City Commissioners (RCCs). RDCs/RCCs are the heads of District Security Committees. Any matter of a security nature happening within a district is the responsibility of the presiding RDC to supervise and manage, and RDCs have done quite well in many places. Under extraordinary circumstances as in Masaka, as minister I have to put in extra effort to see that the situation returns to normal very fast. I had to be on the ground to build the capacity of the security committee(s) and liaise with security commanders and officers pursuing the assailants. I was also lending confidence to the populace that as government we are with them and want to see them safe and rid of the bad elements.
The NRM Government has always advised parents to discourage their children from associating with unprincipled characters and political actors whose objective is to fulfill the agenda of our foreign enemies. Security has been picking intelligence and much of these evil plans are thankfully being dismantled.
The strategy of violent murders of our people using guns has progressively reduced, thanks to the approach of using forensic techniques where murderers can be easily identified on the basis of fingerprints and gun details. This may be the reason why the criminals have resorted to stabbing knives and pangas. However, the NRM government under the leadership of General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will not be defeated using this rudimentary strategy.
I need to remind all of us that in the Uganda of today you cannot gain power by stabbing to death innocent civilians. One has to follow all the democratic steps including convincing the masses of your good ideas and selling your manifesto. They are targeting innocent Ugandans for rejecting their schemes in order to force them to betray NRM.
I have been interacting with leaders across the divide and the ideas raised will be applied not only in Masaka but across the board since we don’t want a recurrence of these incidents in other districts. I thank those leaders for agreeing to work with us.
Within the community, we should plug shortcomings that may give the thugs an upper hand such as intelligence gaps in our security circles especially at the grassroots, the ‘I don’t care’ attitude of our leaders, lazy security personnel who choose to sleep on the job, local Councils that are not vigilant and bad politics influenced and financed by external forces. Other strategies are classified and have been communicated to the relevant authorities.
Masaka is the same area where the Kiddawalime group, which the president usually refers to, operated. They were defeated. For the ones causing problems now, I can assure Ugandans that NRM will wipe them out without much trouble and they must pay for their sins.
The author is the Minister for the Presidency
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