President Yoweri Museveni has said that the emphasis made on public vigilance in recent months has begun registering successes in beefing up security, citing the low crimes recorded by Police on Christmas.
Museveni said that since June when he announced security interventions largely to improve the technology capacity of the Police and other security agencies to counter crime, progress has been made.
He said this on Monday while delivering a televised New Year’s address from his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura district.
Issues of security dominated debate in the year 2018 following the spike in kidnap cases, notable among them that of Susan Magara who was kidnapped in February and later gruesomely killed.
The year also saw the brutal assassinations of former Arua municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga and former Buyende DPC, ASP Muhammad Kirumira.
Museveni emphasized the need for vigilance, quick response by Police and proper management of crime scenes among others.
Owing to the strides made by Police in recent months, Museveni said, only 23 offenses were registered by Police on Christmas Day alone which he said were straight forward crimes (not organized) whose perpetrators are easy to determine.
There were 11 murders, one victim of mob justice, two incidents of murder by shooting, one suicide case, one defilement, one suicide by shooting, one attempted murder, one incident of accidental death by fire, one case of vandalizing Umeme cables by thieves, one case of kidnap (victim rescued) and one case of arson.
“It seems therefore that our vigilance is working. On top of the vigilance of the public and the promptness of police, we shall have added the technological means we are developing. Crime will be defeated,” Museveni said.
In a murder case in Masaka, he tasked Police to explain why they delayed to respond. “I am demanding expeditious accountability”.
In Monday’s address to the nation, Museveni also revealed plans to create Saccos that will support the elected leaders at the district level as well as the local and women councils in a bid to further government’s wealth creation efforts.
He applauded the elected local leaders for their voluntary spirit of offering to lead the people that elected them into power. This service, he said, sometimes comes at the expense of their private affairs.
“This sacrifice should not go unnoticed. Besides, it’s crucial that you lead by example,” said Museveni quoting Matthew 5:11 which reads “Let your light shine before men that they will see your deed and praise your Father in heaven”.
“I want you to be examples in wealth creation. I want to propose a Sacco, district by district that will cater for all elected leaders of LCs and NRM structures so they can be examples to the others, but they will also banish poverty in their homes”.
“Since large numbers don’t allow payment of salaries, Saccos are the only affordable way of supporting these leaders past and present. We can’t pay salaries to millions of such people,” Museveni.
Museveni also commented on the sticky issue of corruption. He clarified that the recently launched Anti-corruption Unit under the State House led by Lt Col Edith Nakalema does not seek to replace the role of the IGG but rather to supplement it.
“Nakalema is not going to replace the IGG. She’s running a 24 hour call center and they will receive complaints and forward them to the IGG, Chief Justice and Police”.
Regarding illegal land evictions, the President put the perpetrators on notice saying he will directly lead the struggle against the practice.
“Most of the victims of these evictions are the elders I led in struggle or their descendants. They didn’t abandon us during the struggle and we are not going to abandon them. We are liaising closely with the Chief Justice and my lawyers will use all legal means to defend our comrades in the struggle or their descendants”.
“The message to the landlords is – I prefer a win-win way. That’s why I abolished the 1975 decree by Idi Amin. We cannot however tolerate the unfair treatment of our comrades in the struggle”.