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Gov’t faulted for ignoring UK terror alert

State Minister for Internal Affairs David Muhoozi on the floor of Parliament.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament have faulted the government for ignoring warnings on imminent terror attacks on Uganda by the United Kingdom (UK) Counter Terrorism Police, about two weeks ago.

The UK government had earlier on advised its nationals to be extremely vigilant about their security, adding that attacks on Uganda could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners… “You should be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places like hotels, transport hubs, restaurants and bars, and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events,” the alert said.

However, Uganda Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said that despite the emerging sleeper terrorist cells, Uganda’s terror alert levels were not elevated yet.

But a week later, there was an attack in Komamboga, a suburb of Kampala, claiming the life of one Emily Nyiraneza. Another blast occurred aboard a Swift bus bound for Ishaka, and this claimed the life of one Isaac Matovu, who is suspected to be a suicide bomber.

State Minister for Internal Affairs David Muhoozi was yesterday afternoon tasked to explain why the government security agencies ignored the UK terror alert and why entertainment places remain in operation in total disregard of measures put in place to control the spread of coronavirus disease.

Mukono North MP Abdulla Kiwanuka said that the police was hesitant instead of being proactive after the UK terror alert, a reason Uganda was attacked, barely a week after. He adds that Uganda needs to ensure that its intelligence is top notch to avoid such situations.

Buzaya County MP Martin Mugabi Muzaale, said that Uganda needs to work with the UK government to foil such attacks since the UK seems to be ahead of Uganda in terms of intelligence. Similarly, the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah says that the alert should have interested Uganda so that the threat is curbed.

But Muhoozi insisted that Uganda has faced this kind of terrorism before in its rural and urban dimensions. “Our resolve is tested. We shall defeat this wave too. The security services are following all the leads in both incidents in order to apprehend the culprits. I want to say that terrorism is a threat to all. It is indiscriminate. We need everyone in the fight.” he said.

Meanwhile, MPs Jonathan Odur, Godfrey Onzima and Elijah Okupa questioned why the bar in Komamboga was operating beyond curfew time, adding that there is a lot of laxity in the enforcement of government guidelines at a time when security should be heightened.

Muhoozi told the plenary that Uganda also has its own intelligence and terrorism is not an issue that can be dealt with without cooperation.

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