The murder of close to thirty, mostly elderly people in greater Masaka region over the past month has shaken the country and further undermined the trust of the population in the government to fulfill it’s number one constitutional obligation of safeguarding their lives and property.
Machete-wielding gangs terrorised rural areas around Masaka where they managed to hack to death over two dozen people under the cover of darkness, without any meaningful response from the security agencies.
What shocked many is that even after the would-be victims brought attention of the security agencies of warnings that had been written on the walls on impending attacks, as well as other loopholes like inadequate police personnel, little or no major security deployment was made to reassure the population.
As Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga said while at Bulange this week, had there been a political rally organized by an opposition politician, the response would have been dramatically different.
Politicians and religious leaders from across the country have roundly condemned what they called government’s absconding of duty it’s duty to protect the people at a time when people needed them most.
But while everyone was puzzled as to the motives of the attackers, President Yoweri Museveni popped a stunning revelation that implied some political actors were behind the cold-blooded killings.
During the passout of Prisoners officers at Kololo Ceremonial grounds on Tuesday August 31, President Museveni said the murders were perpetrated by political opponents.
Museveni said: “There are people who think that they can destabilize NRM and Uganda. This is just self deception. No force can defeat us either politically or militarily, like those people who have been attacking old people. Imagine?
“They think that these are political actors or a strategy. There’s no strategy. Those groups are finished politically because once we bring evidence in court and say so and so is the one who sent those young people on marijuana to kill an old man of 80, where will you be? Everybody will see that you’re pigs,”
But the President’s assertions that his political opponents were behind the attacks, has been met with skepticism.
Some have pointed at the closure of police stations in those villages a few weeks ago and the abject refusal by the security agencies to deploy in the area as some of a cause of suspicion.
Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze suggested a hidden motive by the government when she said that the latest murders mirror many past atrocities in which many people died but no single report was ever released.
Indeed there are other events in which opposition politicians like Dr Kizza Besigye have been linked with rebel activities as away to try to discredit them politically.
Some may recall the 2014 events in which the government arrested a number of FDC supporters and put them in prison allegedly for being members of the People’s Redemption Army (PRA).
The government failed to bring concrete evidence pinning the suspects to rebel activity. However one of the FDC diehards one Sam Mugumya has been in prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo, since 2014 for allegedly trying to subvert the NRM government.
FDC supporters insist however that Mugumya was simply hijacked from Kampala and bundled in a DRC prison.
He has remained in the jail ever since and refused UN efforts to get him out on a plea bargain, in which it is said he would admit to the crimes but be granted some form of amnesty.