Fear as kidnaps, killings persist

By Jafar Mugera

Hours after the police announced a Shs 100m bounty on the head of Susan Magara’s killer, another message circulated on social media of a man who went missing at the weekend. The message did not give the missing man’s particulars but had a photo of the man and his car, a Honda Fits registration number UAW 690S.

Another Ugandan was reported missing on 24th February

According to the message, the man was kidnapped in almost the same manner that Magara was kidnapped on February 7 near her home at Lungujja in Lubaga division, Kampala. For three weeks, Magara’s relative and friends had been posting similar messages on social media, looking for leads to the whereabouts of their loved on.

She was unfortunately found dead on February 27 at Kitiko near Kajjansi along the Kampala – Entebbe express way.
The same day, the police circulated an audio recording by Magara’s suspected kidnapper and killer, demanding for a ransom $1m (Ugx 3.6bn). In circulating the audio clip, the police is seeking the assistance of the public to identify the person behind the voice in the clip.

“The police will give a Shs 100m to whoever positively identifies the person in the recording leading to the successful arrest of these criminals,” AIGP Abbas Byakagaba told journalists on Monday at the police headquarters at Naguru in Kampala’s Nakawa division.
The increasing cases of kidnaps and mysterious killings have caused panic in the country although the government has downplayed them as simple cases of criminality.

” There are still cases of criminality especially in Kampala. Those don’t qualify for cases of insecurity and we are going to wipe them out once we install CCTV cameras,” Museveni said on Sunday, February 25, during a party to celebrate the deletion of the presidential age limits from the constitution. The party was held in Kiboga district.

The various explanations given by both government and security officials seem not convincing enough that some MPs want Parliament to block the security budget.
“It is time we asked Parliament to block the budget for security agencies because they seem not to be working,” said Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo.

The failure of the security agencies is manifested in the acrimonious working relationship between Security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde and the Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura. The two bush war comrades have not been at talking terms since 2005 when Kayihura oversaw Tumukunde’s arrest over his critical stance against that year’s amendment of the constitution to remove presidential term limits.

“The fights between security chiefs have compromised the country’s security, the government has failed on its noble duty of protecting its citizens,” Ssekikubo said.
His views were shared by Busiro East MP, Medard Lubega Ssegona, also Shadow minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs during his appearance on Buganda kingdom’s BBS Terefayina weekend political talkshow, Zimba eggwanga.