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Jun 16, 2019: Kampala safe by June deadline?

UGANDA - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni promised on Sep 16, 2018, that crime-ridden and dangerous Kampala will be a safe city within nine months, and the June date marks his day of reckoning. The country’s Daily Monitor reports that he has eyes on smart technology to achieve his aim.

German broadcaster DW reports that an unprecedented wave of murders and kidnappings is robbing Ugandans of easy sleep and prompting many to ask whether the president and his government are capable of keeping them safe. The broadcaster notes that Museveni is credited with restoring safety to Ugandans after the insecurity of the 1970s and 1980s, but he is seen in some quarters to be losing his grip on national security.

According to the publication, Museveni described machines as cheaper than human beings, and that the government would rely on “human beings for a short time then scale down the number of human beings manning security.” DW notes that at first, the government blamed the spate of murders on a feud between national security agencies. It has now shifted the blame to Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels, and the president’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has traded blame with the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). Politicial analysts suggest the crime wave could be a manifestation of the widening gap between rich and poor, according to the broadcaster, coupled with widespread corruption.

The president’s 10 point security program includes improved incidence management, the installation of cameras, the finger printing of guns, use of drones, ban on hoodies for motorcyclists and tracking devices on cars and motorcycles.

Museveni is also creating a new security force to combat the soaring levels of crime. The BBC reported in Nov 2018 that there are fears the new civilian militia of Local Defence Units (LDUs) could become a law unto itself.

#22982 Published: 01/30/2019

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