The cold-blooded murder of a top police officer in a Kampala City suburb on Friday morning has sent a chill in the country with many citizens asking who is safe after all.
The killing of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, outside his home in Kulambiro follows a similar pattern we have witnessed several times in the last two years.
Apparently, armed men riding on motorcycle show up at the gate of their victim or trail the victim to a vulnerable spot and then unleash a volley of bullets in total disregard of whoever is seeing them, and then they calmly jump back on the motor bikes and ride off!
While many of their victims have been unarmed but high profile people, in Mr Kaweesi’s case – as was in November when Maj Muhammad Kiggundu was killed – the victims were armed security officers with armed bodyguards. This means this is a highly trained and confident squad that can strike at will and at whomever it chooses!
In the past, security has pointed fingers at an old – some say defunct – rebel outfit in the Rwenzori Mountains going by the name Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) but not much has come of the investigations. And the killings have gone on and on! It is not clear whether this was the same group or not.
Ugandans will, however, be hoping that the mystery of these killers is quickly unveiled and justice served. Striking at the core of the police force is a huge statement this gang is making and the security forces must make a bigger statement by ensuring the killers are found and brought to book.
However so far, police are not doing a good job of investigating murder cases, let alone other crimes.
A few weeks ago, this newspaper carried a report indicating that police had failed to investigate more than 4,000 murder cases in four years. When the figures were further extrapolated, it was established that only 2 per cent of murder cases in the last five years were fully investigated and disposed of.
The failure was mostly due to lack of expertise, understaffing, and low technology [forensics].
It is time for the authorities to wake up and put resources in fighting crime. Yes a lot of resources have been given to the police in the last few years but nearly all have gone to controlling political and ideological opponents of the government, leaving the real criminals to grow in sophistication and confidence.