ARUA – President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday moved to blame the opposition for the brutal death of NRM legislator Col. Ibrahim Abiriga, terming it an assassination and a political defeat to the opposition.
In a statement issued on a day parliament eulogized the slain Arua municipality legislator, Mr Museveni said; “Why kill somebody because you do not agree with him? Why don’t you defeat his ideas with your “better” ideas?”Assassination means that you are already defeated. Your ideas cannot compete with ideas of the victim in terms of development. That is why you decide to kill him or her. That will not help you. Others with the same ideas will continue.”
Abiriga was shot dead on Friday evening together with his bodyguard cum brother in the outskirts of the capital Kampala.
Again, I express my deepest felt condolences for the peace-lover, Hon Ibrahim Abiriga, killed by criminals on Friday evening. As the investigations are still going on, we cannot rule out personal motives for the murder. However, there is high probability that this killing was a political assassination because of his commitment to the NRM. If that is the case, the killers have miscalculated and shown their bankruptcy. Why kill somebody because you do not agree with him? Why don’t you defeat his ideas with your “better” ideas?
Assassination means that you are already defeated. Your ideas cannot compete with ideas of the victim in terms of development. That is why you decide to kill him or her. That will not help you. Others with the same ideas will continue.
However, assassination never saves the dictators from their doom. The assassinations of Dr. Mondlane and Samora Machel , did not save the Portuguese from total defeat. The assassinations of Herbert Chitepo, Ruth First etc, never saved the criminals of White South Africa and Rhodesia from their eventual defeat.
Amin, by killing Ben Kiwanuka, Bataringaya, Bananuka, Balufuywa, Major Katabarwa etc could not save himself from his eventual defeat.
When the NRM had taken power, some anti-democracy elements targeted and killed the first elected RCs/ LCs, especially in Busia and Teso to stop the people from joining the RCs/LCs. Scores of LC chairmen in Busia and Teso were killed. This, however, could not stop the defeat of FOBA (Force Obote Back – a group of some of the UPC supporters) from defeat.
Kony and ADF were famous for attacking soft targets – unarmed or unprepared people -rather than attacking military barracks or convoys. This did not stop Kony and ADF from being defeated.
Assassins are cowards. They attack soft targets. They do not attack military targets which is the work of the brave. That is why they are called terrorists. We defeated all the terrorists in the rural areas: Kony, ADF, UPA, FOBA, Itongwa, the Karimojong cattle rustlers, etc. That is why there cannot be a revival of terrorism by criminals using the forests or the bush.
How about the killings in the towns in recent times? Taking advantage of the huge success by the Ugandans of buying more cars, more boda bodas, building more hotels, building more shops and trading centres, and building more houses and having large numbers of our people in the towns, since 2012, they started on a series of killings and now more recently, kidnappings.
Initially, the Police used the old Police methods of relying on eye witnesses etc. The criminals are using simple techniques to defeat this. They use jacket hoods (kwebika ku mutwe), not to be seen properly. They also bend the registration plates of the “pikipikis” so that they are not properly read.
Due to the laxity in UCC, there was also the problem of people owning phones with false names.
The criminals take advantage of large numbers of cars, boda bodas, mobile phones and people, to do bad things and escape rapidly without being identified clearly and quickly using the old methods. That is why, following the killing of Kaweesi, which came following the killing of the Moslem Sheikhs, Joan Kagezi etc, I ordered to put emphasis on upgrading our technical means of monitoring crime in the towns and along the highways. Having to buy these items from outside takes time. Nevertheless, we are now moving.
The following are the technical solutions we shall acquire to monitor crime in the whole country, starting with the towns:
- Cameras, mounted along the streets and highways, assisted by cameras by individuals, at their own cost, on their business premises and homes;
- Improved forensic capacity of the police;
- Electronically monitored devices mounted on all cars, other auto-mobiles, boda bodas, that are not removable from the platform that will help us to know where a particular vehicle was at a particular time; this will be done by vehicle owners at their own cost; and
- Other technical means that I do not want to go in here.
We had delayed to go into acquiring these capabilities because of doing other priorities, especially: Defence , the roads, electricity, schools, health and the ICT backbone. Everybody can see what has been done. Since , however, we are now forced by criminals, we have already started diverting reasonable chunks of money to close this gap in the anti-crime infrastructure. We shall defeat these criminals in the towns as we defeated the others in the Bush. If it is ADF doing it, we shall do something about it. If it is other groups, we definitely will cater for that also.
Our society has enjoyed a lot of freedom and a laxed way of life: trans-nights, drinking at all hours, gambling, freely bringing money and taking it out, preaching everything and everywhere, travelling out of and into the country, writing and broadcasting everything and everywhere, etc etc.
Some people tell me that NRM should be stricter and try to regiment the country more. I have never been entirely convinced about this line of thinking. I prefer to teach by example rather than coercion. I prefer relying on the Policeman of the mind rather than the Policeman of the body, except for criminals.
Now, the criminals think that they can use this freedom to undermine and discredit the NRM. They are wrong. The NRM has got a lot of capacity. I only need focus from our MPs so that we budget adequately for the anti-crime infrastructure and for wealth and job creation ahead of consumption and administration.
The killers of Joan Kagezi, the Sheikhs, Kaweesi, Susan Magara and now, Abiriga, will then be defeated wherever they are. They have doomed their future by voluntarily putting themselves in the same category as Kony and the like. Their future is doomed. We need to just expose them and punish them.
Again on the assassins, pigs, cowards. Can these pigs ask themselves one question: “Why doesn’t NRM assassinate its opponents? Is it because we do not have the guns or the capacity?”
“Why did we oppose the assassination of Oyite Ojok in the Nile Mansions in 1980-81?” The answer to this is the difference between freedom fighters and fascists and pigs.
It says in the Book of Matthew 7:6: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet , and turn and tear you in pieces.”
It also says in the Book of Proverbs Chapter 2 verse 14: “Ziryabareeba ababikora, naabo ababishemererwa” – (Woe to those who find joy in doing evil and delight in the perversity of evil).
As we improve our technical capacity in the towns, the sub-committee of National Security, under the Chairmanship of CDF, yesterday decided to recommend to me the call-up of some reserves to deploy wherever criminals may manifest themselves.
Remember, we have a reserve of 12 million men and women. Our reluctance to call-up more man-power is because of trying to avoid costs so that we invest in developments.
In the State-of-the-Nation address, I pointed out the work done on the roads and electricity. We shall have to decelerate on some of those projects so that we up-grade the security infrastructure and also, for a limited period, call up more man-power.
Therefore, the cowardly pigs that shot Abiriga at leisure without any equalizing fire being directed at them, will next time get a more balanced equation.
I must also comment on the slow response of the police in the Kawanda area. There are 14 police personnel at Kawanda Trading Centre operating in squads. If they were ready and on stand-by, they could have rushed and blocked the few exit points from that area for the criminals. That is something the police in the whole country need to study. Prepared squads should be ready to move in a minute to respond or to block the exits of these criminals.
Hon. Abiriga was known to me as a very loyal NRM cadre. I did not know that He was such a good mobiliser. My visit to the area of Kirinyabigo and Kawanda – Kaayi yesterday, showed me how much the people loved him on account of interacting well with them and, especially, the children.
Collective security is better than individualized security of single bodyguards, sitting in the same vehicle with the principal. The individualized body-guarding helps against the low capacity criminals like the ones of Masaka.
However, for the organised criminals, armed with rifles, collective security with cameras, patrol cars, foot standing patrols and other technical solutions are the way forward.
As you can see in the cases of Kaweesi and Abiriga, sitting with bodyguards (even if they are many) in a single soft skin vehicle, of whatever type, without vigilance of observing whether you are being followed by suspicious people, is not a solution. The enemy can, by surprise attack all of you, without giving you a chance to respond. If we try to have follow cars etc, the cost may be prohibitive. That is why collective security, which is possible, is superior.
Down with the pigs. Down with the parasites. Abiriga has joined the glorious list of our warriors who fell in the struggle: Martin Mwesiga, Mwesigwa Black, Valerian Rwaheeru, Kagina, Musisi and numerous others that contributed to the victory of the NRM and the people of Uganda.
Yoweri K. Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda