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On trail of dangerous rebel mission
Has Museveni’s 10-point plan curbed crime?
Kampala. In June last year, President Museveni announced a 10-point strategy which he ordered security agencies to execute in order to tame the rising wave of violent crime that hit the country, particularly the capital Kampala and the metropolitan area.
At that time, several prominent Ugandans had been assassinated by shooting and other citizens kidnapped and murdered in cold blood.
The security measures included installation of CCTV cameras in urban areas and highways, deploying army and Local Defence Unit personel (LDUs), purging the police of “bean weevils” (wrong elements), electronic number-plating for vehicles/ motorcycles, finger-printing all guns, boda boda wearing hoods, prioritising public intelligence, use of police radio calls, drones and regulating social media.
These measures, the President said would stop or eliminate the murders, kidnaps, robberies and other violent crimes.
However, violent crime has continued to-date, especially in Kampala metropolitan area where many boda boda riders and mobile money agents have been killed.
Since the year began, the media have reported at last six people killed by shooting or using other deadly weapons in Kampala metropolitan alone.
On June 11, gunmen killed Harriet Naluwadde and Moreen Nakabubi, mobile money agents in Zzana area on Entebbe highway and the assailants escaped on motorcycles.
On May 16, Rafael Walugembe, a university student, was killed by a stray bullet during an attack by armed robbers on city businessman Denis Mwesigwa in Nateete. Mwesigwa was injured and robbed of cash.
On July 9, Rebecca Namuganya, 22, a mobile money agent in Kapeeke Village, Nama Sub-county in Mukono District was killed. The killers slit her throat from her rented house.
In May, three workers of Cheap General Hardware in Nansana Town on Hoima Road were killed during broad day light by masked gunmen who later grabbed more than Shs300m cash. The robbery lasted about 30 minutes without security response.
On June 30, 2019, Derrick Mulindwa, a boda boda rider was killed with a hammer by two robbers he was carrying as passengers at Kakyeka in Mengo, Rubaga. Police have since arrested one suspect who has confessed to the killing.
These cases account for only incidents reported by the media and do not represent the actual crime registered statistics by police, implying the toll could be much higher.
This years’s police bi-annual report on armed violence, shows that 41 cases involving use of guns were recorded countrywide between January and June.
However, the report does not specify crime statistics for Kampala and the metropolitan area to tell whether the aforementioned killings reflect an increase or decline in crime compared to the same period last year.
The report shows that 45 guns were involved in the crimes countrywide this year with 26 being AK-47 while another 26 firearms were recovered by security agencies.
The report says out of every 100,000 people, 612 were victims of crime and Kampala Metropolitan area remained top in crime rates followed by West Nile, Albertine, Elgon, Busoga North, Ssezibwa, Kiira and North West Nile.
In his June address last year, Mr Museveni said the installation of CCTV cameras, deployment of LDUs and other listed security measures would constitute a magic combination to eliminate urban crime.
The Shadow minister for Internal Affairs, Mr Muwanga Kivumbi, said the violent crime is still prevalent despite the security measures because government invests less in intelligence gathering and spends a lot on reactionary means to fight crime.
“Police is supposed to detect and prevent crime and apprehend suspects. This requires enhanced spying. But how do we invest in CIID (Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate) [when] only Shs200m is for CIID for every district? This is very little. Also, each district gets Shs900,000 for operations,” he said.
“If you have five sub-counties, that means each will get Shs150,000 for operations. They are literally immobile. But even the little they have is always wasted in defending the regime,” he said.
However, the director of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) , Col Kaka Bagyenda, insisted the killings will be eliminated. “This will soon end,” he saidSoruce: Daily Monitor
Government to build 10 expressways to decongest Kampala city
Government has embarked on a programme to decongest Kampala city and the metropolitan area of traffic jam by constructing 10 expressways to ease traffic flow.
The project is part of the bigger traffic control plan that government is working on with the Japanese Development Agency (JICA) to signalise at least 30 city junctions to ease traffic.
The acting head of transport planning and traffic management at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Mr Joel Wasswa, told Daily Monitor that the Japanese government offered funding and construction of a traffic control centre.
“The Japanese government through JICA is helping us establish an urban traffic control centre and also signalising about 30 junctions. That project is set to commence this year and it will see the control centre established here [KCCA offices],” Mr Wasswa said.
According to the plan, 10 expressways will be constructed in the next five years, in addition to upgrading some of the existing city roads to dual carriage ways and widening others.
During the manifesto presentation review last month, the Minister of Works and Transport, Ms Monica Ntege Azuba, said progress has been made in addressing the city traffic problems.
She said construction of the expressways would reduce the traffic burden on the current roads and ensure smooth flow of vehicles to and out of the city.
“Ahead of the elections, we promised the people of Kampala and Uganda that we would work on these projects. We are here to announce that progress has been made and Kampala-Entebbe Expressway is already done and works on the other expressways will start soon,” Ms Azuba said.
The new expressways
Kampala-Jinja Expressway is at procurement stage, meaning government is searching for a contractor. This follows the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, which is complete and currently in use.
For Kampala-Mpigi Expressway, the contract was awarded to a consortium of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway 19th Bureau Group Company Limited.
A number of works for other expressways are either under procurement or funds are being sought to start the projects, while others are undergoing designing.
Mr Mark Ssali, the corporate affairs manager at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), said all is set for the big infrastructure development.
He said construction of the expressways will decongest the city and make it more accessible at cheaper and more efficient rates. “The expressways will reduce congestion and jams and therefore reduce travel time and cost. They will also stimulate trade, agricultural and industrial development, boost tourism and foster regional integration,” Mr Ssali said.
He said government has already signed contracts with some construction companies but other projects are still under procurement or design.
Others are Kibuye-Busega Expressway, Busega-Mpigi Expressway, Kampala-Bombo Expressway; Kampala Outer Beltway (Ggaba-Seeta-Matugga-Wakiso-Nsangi), Kampala Flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project.
Also in consideration are Nakasero-Northern Bypass Express Route, Kampala-Nansana-Busunju Expressway and Kampala-Bujuuko Dual Carriage.
“For Busega-Mpigi, we have signed the contract for civil works, and had an official handover of contract to the contractor. Next is mobilisation and commencement of physical works. For Kibuye-Busega, government is in discussions with potential funders and an agreement is due soon and for the Kampala-Bombo Expressway, feasibility studies and detailed designs are ongoing,” Mr Ssali said.
He said for Kampala-Busunju-Hoima Expressway, UNRA is in the process of securing a consultant for feasibility studies. He said once this is complete, UNRA will move to the next stage.
He said all the planned expressways are aligned to the national plans such as those of KCCA and the National Development Plan.
While works of the Kampala Northern Bypass capacity improvement project are ongoing, Mr Ssali said the process took long because of delays caused by land acquisition. He said other projects are also on course.
Source: Daily Monitor
Zuma pulls out of South African graft inquiry
Former South African president Jacob Zuma on Friday withdrew from testifying to an inquiry into corruption under his rule, citing biased treatment and harsh questioning.
In the corruption scandal popularly referred to as "state capture", Zuma is accused of overseeing mass looting of state assets during his nine-year tenure.
"We are here today to say that we will take no further part in these proceedings," Zuma's lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane told the inquiry commission in Johannesburg.
"Our client from the beginning... has been treated as someone who was accused."
An agitated Sikhakhane said the inquiry had become "a political process," drawing loud clapping and cheering from Zuma loyalists in the public seats at the inquiry.
Zuma, who started testifying on Monday, had dismissed all accusations made against him by previous witnesses to the inquiry.
He was due to give a final day of evidence on Friday after the inquiry was adjourned on Wednesday when he complained that the questioning was effectively a court cross-examination.
Zuma was ousted by the ruling ANC party in 2018 and replaced by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has vowed to clean up the government.
On the first day of his testimony, Zuma gave a rambling address saying he was the victim of conspiracies and years of "character assassination", and accusing foreign intelligence agencies and spies of working against him.
He also said he had received multiple death threats and attempts on his life.
The former president, 77, later replied to many questions at the inquiry by saying he did not remember or was unaware of meetings and conversations that other witnesses had mentioned.
Zuma was not legally summonsed to attend the inquiry, but was invited to reply after being implicated in graft by several previous witnesses.
"I expected that he would cooperate, which he did by agreeing to come," said judge Raymond Zondo, who is chairing the inquiry.
"The first purpose was to give him an opportunity to tell his side of his story."
The inquiry is investigating a web of deals involving government officials, the wealthy Gupta business family and state-owned companies.
The Indian-born Gupta brothers -- Ajay, Atul and Rajesh -- have left South Africa and are now based in Dubai.
One witness, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene testified that Zuma pushed policies on nuclear power and aviation that were designed to benefit the Gupta family.
"Mr Zuma and his legal team are in effect asking to be excused from the application of the rules," the inquiry's lead lawyer Paul Pretorius said.
"If the questions are detailed and if the questions and difficult... so be it.