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Gen. Katumba shooting

Gen David Muhoozi, the CDF (2ND R) with other senior officers at the crime scene.

Uganda’s gun problem

The issue of rampant guns in the country has also re-emerged after General Katumba’s shooting. Government set out to recruit 13,000 LDUs in the country to deal with violent crime in the country and the number of those recruited LDUs is believed to be more than the initial target. After months-long trainings by the UPDF, the LDUs were armed with AK47 rifles and deployed across the country.

With their deployment, gun circulation multiplied tenfold and some of the fatal confrontations with LDUs were witnessed during brutal lockdown enforcement as the government sought to stop the spread of COVID19 last year. The other challenge was the lack of a long term plan by government to pay LDUs regularly.

The call for recruitment of LDUs fed into the unemployment problem and when Museveni said they would only be paid for a four months period, there was alarm because the recruits were aged between 19 and 30 and desperate. Fears were triggered over the young and armed LDUs hiring out their arms at a giveaway price.

The move to recruit LDUs was welcomed by some but their rushed training and decision to arm them brought back memories of crime preventers; a loose organization under the police but also involved in fomenting violence.

While delivering a national security address in parliament in June 2018, President Museveni ordered the UPDF to finger print all guns in the country to curb the spate of gun violence. “That will mean that if any legal gun in Uganda is used, we shall know which gun was used and since we know who is carrying which gun, we shall easily know the crime perpetrator,” he said.  Three years later, the army is yet to come up with a plan of carrying out the nationwide finger printing of guns.

Muwanga Kivumbi Butamabala County MP who made a name as a vocal member of the Internal and Defence Affairs parliamentary committee says the government has failed on reining in gun violence. “Every single gun, in this country, is engraved. Even when you pick those shells, you can tell us which security agency that gun is assigned to. There are small security issues we need to look at and ask ourselves.  What went wrong?”


One comment

  1. Tunku Abdul Rahman

    Except for Col. Abiriga and a couple of Muslim clerics, the rest of the victims of these murders are Baganda. Why?!

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