It is exactly two years today since terrorists struck Kyadondo Rugby grounds and Ethiopian Village restaurant, both entertainment places in Kampala, killing almost 80 innocent people. The Somalia-based militant group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack, blaming it on the presence of Ugandan soldiers on Somali soil. The soldiers are part of the African Union peace enforcement effort (Amisom) that also has Burundi, Djibouti and Kenya.
Ever since that attack, the threat of more terrorism has hovered over Uganda, spreading fear. Metal detectors and police deployments have become the order of the day.
Indeed the threat is real and as the recent attack on church-goers in Kenya shows, terrorism can take totally unexpected forms. Therefore, to keep ahead of those plotting to kill us, we must remain vigilant all the time.
But with such a rapidly growing population, porous borders, corrupt immigration authorities, poorly paid police officers, and no national IDs, the task at hand is enormous.
However, there is one relatively cheap but effective method, which if harnessed might make us safer - Local Council leaders.
A few years ago, a Kampala resident would not move residence from one suburb to another without informing the LCs, especially those in charge of the new home area. In some cases, one even had to secure an area ID.
This arrangement has since been abandoned, partly because there have not been elections for several years. Yet as investigations into the 2010 attacks appear to show, strangers moved in and out of residential areas without the local authorities or neighbours paying any attention.
If the plotters had had to report to the LCs, maybe they would have raised suspicion. Ultimately, however, the Somalia question, which is breeding terrorism in this region, must be addressed politically.
Although the security situation in Mogadishu has improved tremendously since Amisom first arrived, military intervention alone will not give Somalia sustainable peace and security.
Thus the Somalis need to build on the African Union effort by initiating genuine political dialogue amongst themselves. Only that can guarantee a stable country. The forthcoming elections offer a good beginning.