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Army patrols to guard Age limit top backers

Analysis

Army patrols to guard Age limit top backers

Investment State Minister Evelyn Anite

Investment State Minister Evelyn Anite

The government has tremendously boosted the security detail of NRM Members of Parliament (MPs) especially those who vigorously backed the controversial amendment to the Constitutional on the removal of Presidential Age Limit.

Reliable sources indicate that the government has procured 16 brand new patrol cars that will escort MPs who strongly and openly campaigned for the removal of Article 102b which barred someone above the age of 75 to stand for presidency, effectively opening the way for the return of President Museveni to the ballot paper come 2021.

President Museveni has accepted demands by MPs to replace absentee police officers who had earlier been deployed to guard them, with UPDF soldiers.

The increased security measures are said to be given to Investment State Minister Evelyn Anite, Simeo Muwanga Nsubuga, Raphael Magyezi, James Kakooza among others yet to be established.

Minister Anite  had reportedly abandoned her posh SUV in favour of a Pick-up vehicle with army soldiers.

The move comes in the wake of the brutal murder of former Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga on June 8, 2018 by unknown assailants who were allegedly travelling on Boda Bodas. Abiriga was gunned down in the evening hours along with his brother/ body guard Saidi Butere Kongo.

President Museveni attributed Abiriga’s murder to the deceased’s strong support for the NRM government. Abiriga had earned himself the nick-name of “Yellow Man” because of his customary dressing in yellow colours.

While  condoling the slain former NRM supporter Museveni said: “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?”

Despite the government’s assurances to the nation and M Ps that it is in charge of the security situation in the country, this has not stopped MPs from worrying about their security.

The Sunrise understands that Abiriga’s murder triggered panic among NRM politicians, some of whom quit their homes while others abandoned their known cars.

Because of the prevailing anxiety especially among the NRM caucus, President Museveni met with them at the President’s Offices in Kampala this week to once again reassure them about security.

Reliable sources have told The Sunrise that the MPs told Museveni that they continue to receive threats from unknown persons and appealed to him to beef up their security. They also reportedly told him that the Police soldiers had absconded from dirty, which consequently undermined their security.

In response Museveni  reportedly urged the anxious MPs not to panic by rushing to secure armed guards that are not vetted by security. He pledged to replace the absconding police officers with UPDF soldiers.

This week’s meeting with MPs was the second in ten days following last week’s President’s Address to Parliament on Security.

Abiriga’s murder shook the nation not only because of his high profile status but also because he had relayed the killers’  message that he was being targeted.

Since Abiriga’s murder, the government has sought to re-assure the nation about its commitment to strengthen the security of persons and property. During his address to the nation, President Museveni outlined some 10 measures which he said would help to crack down on criminals.

These included:

1. Finger-printing all legally held guns to ensure that the state knows whose gun has fired a bullet.

2. Ensuring that every vehicle and motorcycle be required to have electronic number plates with an electronic signal, installed at cost of the owner.

3. A ban on the wearing of hoods by motorcyclists.

4. Installation of cameras on town roads and streets, highways as well as on all buildings in Kampala.

5. Establishment of a modern forensic laboratory with the aim of capturing thumb prints and DNA of criminals.

6. Speed up the response with which the police responds to crime scenes. Museveni also ordered Police to revive the 999 alert system and also reform the Flying Squad.

7. Use of drones by the UPDF.

8.Prohibit the misuse of social media by criminals to threaten violence.

9. Acquire more scanners under the Uganda Revenue Authority to check all containers coming into and exiting the country. small, professional, well-equipped army, backed with a large reserve force. Our military capacity is robust created over last 50 years. We have capacity to defend Uganda.

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