When reading the letter ‘Update on combating crime’, which was released today on the 3rd November 2019. It was like reading a spread-sheet from an Inspector General of Police. It was reading into the works of the police and investigations made by the Police Force. This wasn’t an letter made by actual President. The Head of State and the Command-in-Chief. No, this was the letter an Inspector General of Police (IGP) should have made.
That President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is micro-managing is now common knowledge. This is why just mere week ago or so, the Deputy IGP had to formulate a plan to criminal gangs, which was just putting basic policing onto a spread-sheet and call it a day. Therefore, what was made today, as a show of effort and work. The President really should have had the IGP J.M. Okoth-Ochola released this letter or something similar. Since, this is initially his job, if not let CP Fred Enaga do his thing and shred some cheese over it and call it a meal.
When saying all this. I will take some pieces of it and show why I feel like this. Because, that is the only way this letter from him makes some sense.
“Greetings, after some weeks of absence. This time, I will, again, address you on the issue of combating crime because crime was appearing, again, after we had suppressed it with Operation Wembley in the year 2002. The criminal groups, in recent times, had killed people in the areas of Kampala-Entebbe, Ntungamo, Lyantonde and the Kisoro areas. I have not yet received the report for Kisoro. However, for Kampala Metropolitan, Ntungamo and Lyantonde, the gangs have been wiped out. These gangs had killed 13 people, injured 2 and robbed sh. 24 million in total” (Museveni, 03.11.2019).
Francis K. Butagira statement at the United Nations in New York on the 8th July 2003: “The collection of illicit arms in an ongoing activity by law enforcement agencies. A Joint Task Force by the security agencies, code named “Operation Wembley” set up early in 2002 to tackle increased armed crime resulted in the recovery of hundreds of firearms” (Butagira, 08.07.2003). Sam A Akaki wrote: “Creation of ad hoc and unauthorised detaining agencies, such as Operation Wembley and its successor, the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU)” (Written evidence submitted by International Lobby for Reform in Uganda (ILORU), December 2004). What this is showing how he promoted the Operation Wembly now and saying what is happening is the same the past ad-hoc action. This means, there are something similar in the path and usage of the police resources. Therefore, he could just have been an IGP and not so presidential.
After this he shows stories from several places in the Republic, where the been murders, thieving and gangs on rampage. Just writing a protocol of what is the gist of the criminal activity done and even whose name behind it. That is so not like a President, but like a Police Commander. However, he ended this piece with this:
“You all can see that what was missing was vigilance by the public and the Police and increasing the speed of responding by the Police. The cameras helped in a few cases. Forensic analysis of cartridges helped in all of them. Police dogs, helped a bit in the Ntungamo incidents. It is easy to defeat these criminals as I said from the very beginning. You can see, how the criminals are trying to use our good roads and the good telephone system to move from Kampala and commit crimes in Ntungamo or any other far corner of Uganda. I will not use permanent road-blocks to catch them. It disturbs Nalumanya and Ssalumanya (the ones who are guilty and the ones who are not guilty). I will always use the technology of jigger extraction. You do not hurt the toe because there is a jigger there. You patiently pull back the skin, until you extract the jigger itself and reward it with fire with little damage to the toe” (Museveni, 03.11.2019).
We can all see, that his pleased by his own achievement like a Police Commander would be, if his policies and his methods was working. However, his the President and not the Police Commander. Even, if he has the overall leadership of the Republic. That doesn’t mean that he should involve himself as directly as this.
The way he wrote the stories of the crimes. The way he is saying that the roads, the telephones and everything else makes it easier for criminals. What makes it easier for criminals to thrive is the lack of policing, lack of rule of law and also an impoverished police. What has been done here is ad-hoc acts of sudden change of what the police was focused on. Instead of focusing on opposition police, it actually did police work and went after gangs. However, that shouldn’t be commended, but says more about the lack of work been put in the right places by the authorities, by the President and by the supposed IGP. Nevertheless, this will continue and this is not the final word in the saga.
We just know it comes more, but this isn’t the sound of reassuring President. No, this is the words of a proud IGP doing his thing. Peace.