By Irene Lamunu
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to serve as principles of moral behavior for the Children of Israel and the human race. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20), he wanted to confirm the moral precepts of the Sinai Covenant between him and his people, the children of Israel. Moses recounted the Ten Commandments of God to the Israelites in the Book of Deuteronomy. Of the Ten Commandments Moses recounted, Commandment number five states that, “Thou shalt not kill.” Breaking these commandments has not been a problem for the human race and we have broken them from the first to the last one. These Commandments are God’s foundation of the moral code and many countries in the world have adopted and used them to guide their legal system of justice, Uganda is not an exception. Countries have set up departments that watch over these moral codes to make sure that they are not broken. The police, judiciary and correctional centers are put in place to ensure that people maintain the moral codes.
Every year, the Uganda Police releases a crime report from the previous year. In May this year, the annual crime report for 2018 reported that there was a drop in the crime rate in the country last year. “The crime rate in Uganda dropped by 5%,” the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola said. The report showed that 238,746 cases were registered by Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) in 2018 compared to 252065 cases recorded in 2017. The IGP said that there was an increase in Homicide in 2018 among the cases registered. He singled out some of the murders in 2018 like that of Susan Magara, the shooting of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga and former Buyende District DPC ASP Muhammad Kirumira. The Inspector General added that murder as a result of mob action also increased by 5.5% from the year 2017. Ochola said police arrested most of the suspects in the homicide cases except in the case of Abiriga. One month after the release of the report, the country has been registering murders all over the country, especially in Kampala.
However, while addressing Parliament last year in June, President Yoweri Museveni had this to say about the rampant murders that had taken over the country. “When I intervened in the murders of women in Entebbe, in Masaka (New Year’s Day), of accountant Susan Magara, in Namayingo, I just sat with the people. Straight away, you could see the clues,” says the President. Negligence and collusion with the criminals by some elements in the security forces has been part of the problem. “I had not directly involved myself in the fight against crime until the killing of Maj. Muhammad Kiggundu and AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi. I had assumed that our Police Force, which is full of educated people, would handle crime. However, the earlier killing of Muslim clerics and state prosecutor Joan Kagezi, provoked me into action,” says the President. In 2018, State house tweeted the president as saying, “there should be no undetected crimes after we have done the following; I have issued an order through the security subcommittee that all guns should be finger printed so that we know which gun belongs to who.”
The President also said they would require every motor vehicle or motor cycle to install number plates with electronic signals. This will enable easy detection of vehicles/motorcycles involved in crime and also deter tampering with them. The question still looming in many Ugandans’ mind is, have all the guns in the country been finger printed, if so, why has police failed to arrest the owners of these guns killing innocent Ugandans? How about the murders caused by other means?
However, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango says he did not have records of murders for this year as yet. According to press reports, a number of people have been murdered since January, with the most recent murders being of Brother Emmanuel Nobert Mugarura, Superior General of the Banakarooli Brothers who was suspected to have been murdered by his former student in Banda and Arnold Ayinebyona Mugisha who was shot at by a security guard at Quality super Market in Naalya, both in Kampala.
According to media reports since January, murder cases have happened in different parts of the country. On January 8th, Andrew Kiboma was shot in Mbale, March 5th, Andrew Katongole and Harriet Nassande were killed in Masaka. March 8th in Busia, Doreen Namali was shot and killed and on April 7th, Moses Mugisha was killed in Kakumiro. April 9th in Nakaloke Mbale, Isma Magoma and Betty Nampira in Nansana were killed. April 28th, gunmen killed a security guard at a mobile money shop. Then on May 14th, the murders continued with armed robbers shooting at a student known as Raphael Walugembe in Lungujja. On June 12th, two people Harriet Nalwadda and her employee Maureen Nakabuubi were killed in Makindye.
Another murder took place on June 17th in Rukungiri when Adrin Ankunda was shot on her way home. June 22nd, in Mpererwe, a boda boda rider was shot dead as he tried to foil a robbery. June 28th, in Nakulabye, Juliet Nabaasa was killed. On June 28th, a boda boda cyclist was strangled and killed at Kakeeka Zone, Rubaga Division Kampala suburb, and the murder was captured on the CCTV cameras of a nearby nursery and primary school. To a civilian, these are rampant murders and scary, but to the Kampala Metropolitan Spokesperson, these are isolated murder cases that should not scare the public. He said the public should not panic because security agencies are on top of their game.“We know countries with murders after every hour, ours take three weeks before you hear about another murder case, it’s not so rampant, we are handling it,” commented the Police spokesperson.
Onyango also noted that all security agencies have been tasked to see that they fight and reduce the murder rate in the country. “All the security agencies have been tasked to see that they fight and reduce the murder rate. It is not only police that is supposed to do this work. Other security agencies are supposed to assist,” he added. He also called upon the general public to be calm and not panic, saying that security agencies are on top of their game and have arrested a good number of suspects involved in the murders.He also said that community policing is helping to curb murder crimes out of communities because the communities involved in community policing volunteer information about danger spots in their villages and suspects.
Apart from the community policing, Onyango is happy with the cameras which he says are being very helpful in the arrest of the suspects. He also added that the camera footages are helping the police and other security agencies to provide evidence. He added that the cameras act as watch dogs of the crimes committed within its vicinity. He said these footages are being used as evidence in the courts of law. Today, the human race is taking life so lightly. Murders have become so simple for people to commit. Many people look at murder as a way to achieve what they want; others use it for purpose of revenge, while others as a source to boost their ego.
Genesis 4:3-9 states that, Abel kept flock while Cain worked the soil. In the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord while Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the first born of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering, he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now, Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord God said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The gun violence has become a trend that everyone who has a gun wants to show the world how it is used. Despite the President’s call of having all guns in public finger printed, this has not reduced the crime rate. The installation of cameras has also not stopped the murders. Could it be because the human race is angry at each other like the two sons of Adam and Eve; Cain was angry at Abel after God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected his. Due to anger Cain killed Abel (Gen 4:3-9). When God asked Cain where his brother was, he responded saying “am i my brother’s keeper.”
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