Insecurity Undermines Uganda’s Prosperity: Museveni’s Efforts for Peace and Security

President Museveni of Uganda has emphasized the critical link between security and prosperity within the nation. Addressing the pressing issue of insecurity, the President highlighted the pivotal role of strategic security in enabling individuals and families to actively engage in the production of goods and services. In his view, the path to true prosperity lies not in government handouts, but rather in empowering citizens to contribute to economic growth through productive endeavors.

During a lecture delivered on August 4th to officers from the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) of the Uganda Police at State House Entebbe, President Museveni shared his insights. He discussed the fundamental principles that underpin Uganda’s pursuit of prosperity. Central to this endeavor is the imperative to establish a robust defense and law enforcement infrastructure, ensuring the peace and stability that are essential for fostering economic activities.

The President drew attention to initiatives such as the Parish Development Model and various government programs that aimed to support economic growth through grants and assistance to Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs). However, he lamented instances where these efforts were undermined by theft and mismanagement. President Museveni questioned how the nation could escape the clutches of poverty if security issues persist and valuable resources are lost to criminal activities.

Strategic security, he emphasized, is one of the cornerstones of the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) revolutionary mission. The CID officers, according to President Museveni, have a pivotal role to play in safeguarding Uganda against internal and external threats, thereby creating an environment conducive to sustainable economic progress. The President emphasized the importance of their duty in preventing crime and maintaining law and order, essential components for a prosperous society.

Furthermore, President Museveni underscored the principles that form the ideological foundation of the NRM: patriotism, Pan-Africanism, socio-economic transformation, and democracy. He stressed that these principles are vital to achieving Africa’s strategic goals and liberation from the history of colonization. Pan-Africanism, in particular, holds the promise of providing access to both regional and international markets, thereby contributing to the economic growth of the continent.

According to the Director of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Tom Magambo, the CID Directorate’s focus on training officers in ideological development and technical aspects of criminal investigations has deepened their understanding of their role in advancing Uganda’s socio-economic agenda. AIGP Magambo expressed optimism that the CID officers’ dedication and training would contribute significantly to the nation’s socio-economic transformation.

Government’s efforts in enhancing peace and security in Uganda

Uganda, much like many other African nations, has grappled with a history of insurgencies and violence since its independence in 1963, as various groups sought to sow instability within the country. However, a significant transformation has been ushered in under the leadership of President Museveni, who assumed power in 1987. The prevailing question then was whether he could break the cycle of insecurity and chaos that had plagued Uganda for decades.

President Museveni’s commitment to addressing this security challenge in an exceptional manner found its fulfillment. Central to this endeavor was the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) 10 Point Program, which placed the safety of all Ugandans at its core. The NRM embarked on a resolute journey to establish peace and security throughout the nation, a goal previously deemed unattainable.

Initiating a determined effort, the Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) embarked on an extended campaign against rebel factions originating from the eastern, northern, and western regions of the country. While peace was achieved in most parts of Uganda, pockets of insecurity persisted in the north, east, and west during various phases of President Museveni’s leadership.

One of the most challenging conflicts was posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the north. Operating since the late 1980s, the LRA posed a significant obstacle to achieving peace, leading to tragic deaths, displacement, and the abduction of thousands of innocent children. Nevertheless, President Museveni and the NRM government tenaciously pursued the eradication of these threats to ensure lasting peace.

In the western and eastern regions, terror groups such as the Alliance Democratic Force (ADF), the Holy Spirit Movement led by Alice Lakwena, and others attempted to destabilize the areas. Yet, the resolute efforts of the NRM government led to the dismantling of these groups and the restoration of peace across the nation.

The commitment to peace extended beyond insurgencies to include addressing extrajudicial killings and state-sanctioned violence that had marred past regimes. President Museveni and his government vowed to ensure justice and accountability, addressing the tragic disappearances of notable figures such as Chief Justice Ben Kiwanuka and Archbishop Janan Luwum.

In addition to insurgency-related challenges, the NRM government tackled incidents of robbery and violence, which impacted the daily lives of Ugandans. Highway robberies, once commonplace, were significantly reduced through diligent efforts, including the establishment of police stations in vulnerable areas.

The installation of CCTV cameras within the city and on highways has notably enhanced security efforts. Phase One of this initiative has been completed, covering 97% of the Kampala Metropolitan area, with Phase Two currently underway at 72%.

Uganda’s journey toward peace has not been confined to its borders. The UPDF additionally intervened in neighboring countries such as South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Somalia, demonstrating Uganda’s commitment to regional stability and security.

As a testament to the NRM government’s dedication, organized criminal syndicates responsible for violent crimes, kidnappings, and attacks on investors have been systematically defeated. Arrests and successful trials have led to a reduction in criminal activity, while the recovery of illegal firearms has further bolstered security efforts.

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