24 August 2017

Uganda: Crime - Public Wants Action, Not Words

Photo: Michael Kakumirizi/Daily Monitor
General Kale Kayihura addresses residents of Nansana.

Last Saturday, police spokesperson Asan Kasingye issued a statement in which he indicated that the Uganda Police Force had made "significant strides" in investigating the rape and murder over the last four months, of 17 women in Entebbe Municipality and Wakiso District.

Mr Kasingye who listed the arrest of suspects and extraction of confessions as some of the strides made in resolving this case, which has left the nation shell-shocked, reassured the public that the Force will get to the bottom of the grisly murders and also promised that the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, would soon issue a "comprehensive statement" about the matter.

Two days later, Gen Kayihura turned up in Kabumbi Zone, Nansana Municipality, where he told residents that the brain behind the murders was a businessman in their hood, who has contracted some people to kill women and extract their blood for purposes of observing a ritual associated with witchcraft and sorcery.

"The suspect confessed that he had killed eight women on orders of a businessman here in Nansana. The blood is to feed his rituals to get more wealth," Gen Kayihura said. The police should be commended if such a suspect exists and a confession to that effect was extracted. However, the public is not interested in such public pronouncements.

If it is true that the police have such a confession and know the businessman, why has the Force not effected an arrest? Or is the Force either inept or impotent or both?

If it is not, it should have the suspect arrested, but when the arrest does take place, it is imperative that the police saves the public the charade of seeing suspects paraded at a press conference.

After all, on April 24, which was the last time the IGP paraded a suspect believed to have been the mastermind of the wave of insecurity that had hit Masaka, Kampala and Wakiso, left Gen Kayihura with lots of egg on his face, as the man, Juma Muyirwa, revealed that criminal gangs operate with the protection of some officers in the Force.

Enough with the posturing! Enough of roadside pronouncements! The public would like to see action, and action now. It demands it.

That is what will restore its confidence and belief in the Force's capability to protect it.


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