“We have started and you have seen on television. For us we shoot to kill. We are not breaking people’s legs. We shall shoot to kill; the head and the chest are our target. If you play around with our Ugandans, we shall kill you. If you prepare to come and steal at night, you will lay down in your blood…” – Colonel Felix Abucha (01.01.2020)
In the new-years, on the first 1st January 2020 the orders of shoot to kill orders was given to the Local Defence Unit (LDUs). That order has been followed, every month and nearly every week someone dies at the hands of paramilitary fellow in the LDU. It is like the bullets are in for the bulletin. After that the Police Force is ordered to investigate it and it never gets solved. The victim of the extra-judicial killing isn’t returning, but the case is cold.
It is a murder in Oyam. It is a son of a commander in Kampala. A Makerere Student. It is cattle-thieves in Karamoja. Head-teacher in Mukono gets gunned down. Shot an old man in Kakiri Sub-County for playing loud music. They killed one man in Kween district.
People are scorn everywhere. A random bloke breaching the curfew to get some food for his family. His gunned down too. Because no need to reason with him, but shoot to kill. That solves everything. Who can afford “equal before law”, when you can kill people at random.
The army or the UPDF calls their mandate of the LDUs crucial. If killing innocent civilians is a crucial task. Then what is the value of law enforcement and the police? When the LDUs can be the hangman and judge without any just cause to enforce the action towards the citizen. The citizen is judged and hanged or shot before it makes any sense.
The LDUs can act a fool. They can be hasty pulling the trigger and end someone’s lives without any consequence. Someone can just get taken away. The pubic are just living on mercy. Hoping they are not passing by a hungry and ignorant, armed LDU who can pop-off at any minute. The man with a weapon can end you. There is no need for justification or explanation. The victims doesn’t matter and if they do. The LDU might suffer, but that’s because of the rank of the victim. If it is an ordinary citizens. The conspiracies and cold cases is the way to let the deaths be forgotten.
The LDUs can kill. It is not like they are well-paid or anything. They are a paramilitary force trained and to ensure the public is intimidated ahead of the 2021 election. The state needs local armed people to get people sensitized and lectured into patriotism. When they say that, the lingo means: “Loyal to the Movement and its President to death do you apart”.
The LDUs are allowed, there is no cost to kill. The extra-judicial killings can appear anywhere at any given time. The citizens can be killed for any reason. If not the authorities will make up excuses, justifications and merit for the bullets. They will make the victim seem like Bond Villain. While the killers are walking scot-free.
So, who needs courts and the police investigation criminals, when you can just have loose canons shooting random? That seems like the trick. Instead of pulling a “rabbit out of the hat” and the authorities are pulling a man with a gun. The man can use it and end the criminal case before it begun. Since he shot it to pieces. Peace.