The machete killings that took place in Masaka and the shooting of former Chief of Defence Forces Gen Edward Katumba Wamala as well as the recent bombings in Kampala have been listed as the major crime incidents of this ending year 2021.
In his end of year message, the Inspector-General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola named the Masaka attacks that left at least 26 people dead as some of the events that put the security agencies to a test during the year. The Masaka attacks started at the end of July up to early September where people mostly aged 45 and above were killed inside their homes, and sometimes waylaid by unknown armed attackers.
Ochola says that the shooting at Gen Katumba Wamala’s vehicle on June 1 and bombings that engulfed the city in recent months were the other events that left the countries security shaken. The first bomb went off in Komamboga on October 23, followed by another inside a Swift Bus at Lungala in Mpigi district on October 25 and the twin bombs that went off on November 16 at CPS Kampala and Parliament Avenue.
“We have been able to disrupt and dismantle several ADF terror cells in the country. We jointly managed to arrest several agents, collaborators and operatives linked to these acts of domestic terror and violent crimes like the machete-wielding assailants in the Greater Masaka,” Ochola said.
Meanwhile, renowned security analyst Fred Egesa says that the attack on a four-star General like Katumba was intended to send a message to security forces that no one cannot be attacked. In order to minimize criminality in 2022, Egesa says security agencies need to look at sequencing and be alert that Allied Democratic Forces –ADF could attempt to avenge since they have been attacked in the Democratic Republic of Cong (DRC) which has been their hideout.
Human Rights defenders Moses Ntega and Siraje Kifampa, say there was a lot of violations for suspects and children. Kifampa argues that a number of suspects were tortured and killed even before they were allowed to defend themselves before competent courts of law.
Kifampa criticizes security agencies and the government for framing Muslims as agitators of violent crime in this country. In order to avoid skirmishes between states, security agencies and accused persons, Kifampa says investigations should always be done thoroughly before people are arrested.
At least 12 terror suspects were shot dead during the investigations of an attack on Gen Katumba Wamala and bombings in Kampala. The killed terror suspects include Hussein Lubwama alias Master, Juma Said, Idris Sserwadda, Mustafa Kawawa alias Amin, Muhammad Kiryowa alias Moses Kiryowa, Sheikh Muhammad Abbas Kirevu, Atindiya Yasin, Musa Byaruhanga, Joshua Turikimanya and Joseph Bagonza.
Ntega puts emphasis on crime that was committed against children among others teenage pregnancies, child marriages and mistreatment of children. By mid this year, more than 19,000 girls had been reported defiled and impregnated.
Other highlights, according to Kifampa, the January presidential elections followed with kidnaps, beating of journalists and protests. Ochola also names the anti-rustling operations in Karamoja where more than 500 cattle raiders were arrested and others killed.
Ochola explains that security agencies have enhanced their anti-crime infrastructures such as installation of CCTV cameras in Municipalities, Highways and urban times, installed the Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS), the Criminal Automated Biometric Identification System(CABIS) and DNA machine which enhanced our forensic based investigations, and boosted it with Aerial Surveillance.