The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among has clashed with state Minister for internal affairs General David Muhoozi after ordering him to work with greater Masaka politicians and beef up security with the different security agencies in a bid to end the current wave of killings there.
Among made the directive following a lengthy debate on the security situation in the area. This was after Gen Muhoozi made a statement on the security situation in the region.
The Deputy Speaker also called for a special debate for the operation that is she said should curb the ongoing killings in the area.
“The insecurity in Masaka is a local-unit crime and it can be cracked down by the leaders and the locals in the areas. We know the areas better; Let us have one command centre and information source,” Among said.
Gen David Muhoozi
Muhoozi in his statement said that the rampant killings were not being motivated by property gain since nothing has been taken from the victims.
“The intended effect is to cause fear, terror and apprehension in the public,” Muhoozi said.
He noted that the mode of killing had a similar pattern and timing.
“They use the same killing method of hitting the victims on the head with blunt objects, and the killings are indiscriminate. The timings are between 8pm and 10pm, when they waylay the victims or attack vulnerable people in their homes,” he added.
Muhoozi added that he was going to propose to cabinet, that Government organizes compensation to assist the families that have lost their loved ones or have had their people injured.
Kabula County MP, Hon Enosi Asiimwe said there is a break down in the intelligence system.
“The intelligence system is wanting right from the regional intelligence officers, district intelligence officers, parish level security, LDUs and police stations in every sub-region,” said Asiimwe.
“You are telling us to run after the killers and bring them to book yet all these security personnel have failed to detect where the fault is. Can we look at the area where the intelligence has failed and see how we shall bring the killers to book?” he asked.
Hon. Abed Bwanika, (NUP, Kimaanya-Kabonera Division, Masaka City) said that the Minister’s statement was incomplete and left out a number of names of individuals who have been killed.
“I would like to ask the minister if his list is exhaustive. I have some names that were not read by the Minister. I have not heard from you that they are now burning houses yet I saw you in Masaka. There are also no logistics at police stations in the area,” Bwanika said.
Nakawa West MP, Hon Joel Ssenyonyi said that the arrested suspects had not been produced in court.
“A criminal charged is innocent until proven guilty. The police at the press conferences about this matter and those similar, say they have arrested the criminals and treat them as such, yet they as police are not the courts of law. The people arrested need to be treated with respect until they are found guilty,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition, Hon Mathias Mpuuga called for beefing up of security
Uganda Peoples Defence Force UPDF) representative, Hon Charity Bainababo said there is no breakdown in the security system as stated by some legislators.
“It is not true that the intelligence system has broken down. It is unfortunate there are killings in Masaka and we are sad because these are Ugandans just like us. It is our business to secure Uganda, but security is for all of us,” said the UPDF MP.
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Mathias Mpuuga said that the debate on the killings in Masaka should be bi-partisan and suggested that Parliament’s Committee on Defence does an analysis on the ground.
“The emotions being exhibited here should be understood and placed into context. Nobody would raise to challenge the emotions exhibited. Let us consider sending the Committee of Defence and Internal Affairs to the ground in Masaka, so that they get to the bottom of the problem. After that, we can debate the issue here so that we find a lasting solution,” Mpuuga said.
Hon. Solomon Silwanyi (NRM, Bukooli Central) observed that the recruitment of LDUs was a backward way of dealing with insecurity.
“We need to use technology in fighting criminality. What happened to the security cameras around the country? These are useful in tracking criminals,” he said.