Securing life and property of Ugandans is still the NRM government’s top priority

Since independence in 1963, Uganda just like many other African countries has suffered a series of insurgences and violence unleashed on its people mainly by groups seeking to keep the country unstable.

When President Yoweri Museveni took over power in 1987, the security situation was fragile and the prime question was whether he would break the vicious cycle of insecurity and anarchy that had afflicted the country since independence.

Each successive regime had made a pledge to fix the security conundrum, but they all failed miserably to achieve that noble objective. President Museveni declared that he would deal with the security issue in an exemplary and exceptional manner and indeed his declaration came to pass.

The National Resistance Movement in its 10 Point Program clearly stated that its main objective was to make sure all Ugandans were safer, and it embarked on ensuring peace and security throughout the country which previously was unheard of. Government through the UPDF began a protracted war against rebel groups from the eastern, northern and western parts of the country.

While most parts of Uganda have been peaceful, there have been pockets of insecurity in the north, the east and the western parts of the country at different times of President Museveni’s leadership. In the north, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fought the government since the late 1980s and posed one of the biggest obstacles to peace in the country. This conflict caused deaths and displacement of innocent Ugandans and abduction of more than 22,000 children. The Lord’s Resistance Army fought the most brutal and longest-running war against the Ugandan government.

In the western and eastern parts of the country, there were terror groups like the Alliance Democratic Force (ADF) from the west, Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirit Movement from the east, Uganda People’s Democratic Army (UPDA), the Uganda People’s Army (UPA) rebels of Hitler Eregu in

Teso, the West Nile Bank Front (WNBF), National Democratic Front (NDF), the National Democratic Army (NDA) and the People’s Redemption Army (PRA) but were hunted down until they were decisively dealt away with.

These terror groups tried to destabilize the areas. However, the country is now at peace. President Museveni and the NRM government vowed not to settle until he sorted extra judicial killings and state inspired violence which had characterized the past regimes of Idi Amin and Obote. For, instance, Chief Justice Ben Kiwanuka and Archbishop Janan Luwum disappeared. Others caught on the wrong side of those regimes were Makerere Vice Chancellor, Frank Kalimuzo, William Kalema and Shaban Nkutu.

Besides the insurgencies, Ugandans have also been subjected to pocket of instability caused by robberies and killing of innocent Ugandans going about their day-to-day life. Highway robberies were a common occurrence into the early 1990s. Common dark spots were in Olwinyo Village on the Karuma-Pakwach stretch along Kampala-Arua Highway, areas surrounding Karuma Sino hydro power project on Karuma – Gulu stretch along the Kampala – Gulu Highway and Rwakisanyi in Masindi port Sub County, Kiryandongo District.

The Northern Bypass which is near the city center has also not been spared as a black spot, triggering the government into action. Several criminal gangs have been busted by security operatives over the last many months, restoring peace in the city. 

Mabira forest and around the Lugazi sugar plantation on Kampala Jinja Highway was also another robbery spot with attackers using the heavy forest and sugar cane plantations as hideouts to launch attacks on mainly traders plying the Uganda-Kenya route. A police station was built on the highway in the forest to make sure that travelers don’t face any insecurity and to date far fewer such robbery cases have been reported in the Mabira, Lugazi areas. Many of the thugs were flashed out of their robbery spots.

Uganda has now grown from just instilling peace within its boundaries to ‘exporting’ peace across the continent. In 2013, the UPDF intervened in South Sudan to stop the then roaming genocide, they also intervened in the Central African Republic to pursue and hunt down LRA rebels who constantly raided the vulnerable locals. Before the above interventions, the UPDF in 2009 went on a mission to fight the Alshabab and restore the failed state of Somalia.

A few years ago, there have been kidnaps, gun crime, attacks on investors and other violent crimes. In 2018 alone, kidnaps were brought to almost zero and security defeated 18 organized criminal syndicates. In 2019, security busted and defeated 10 additional organized criminal syndicates. In total, security was able to defeat 28 organized criminal syndicates.

These criminal gangs committed a number of violent crimes of murders, aggravated robbery, and other serious offences. The attacks on investors were also defeated. A total of 87 organized criminals that were targeting factories were arrested in 52 cases and are facing trial in courts of law. Guns recovered in 2018 were 167 with 2,284 rounds and in 2019 were 137 with 1,535 rounds of ammunition in several operations across the country.

CCTV cameras, that were recently installed have helped security in identifying criminals in the city and on the highways. Currently government has been able to complete 97% of Phase One of installing the cameras in the Kampala Metropolitan area and embarked on Phase Two which is at 72%. 

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