President Yoweri Museveni was informed that the Police officers that had been deployed to guard MPs ran away from their duty stations.
KAMPALA - The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola, has instructed the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) to start investigating threats posted on various social media platforms that a string of Opposition politicians could face assassination.
The instruction to CID director Grace Akullo, follows a letter to the IGP from the Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, expressing fear that his life might be in danger, if his security was not enhanced.
Lukwago wrote to Ochola, through his personal assistant, Elvis Kintu Nsonyi, seeking Police protection to avert any possible life threats.
Last Thursday, a Facebook user by the profile name Seruga Titus posted on his page that: “Three assassins have once again crossed to Uganda to take out another high profile politician. My prediction is that the next target will be an opposition leader, to raise tension in Uganda.
Subsequently, Kintu wrote to Ochola, expressing concern that Lukwago had received assassination threats via social media and attached to his letter was Seruga’s post.
When contacted, the Deputy Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, confirmed that the IGP had received Kintu’s letter and that he had since taken action.
“The IGP has already instructed CID to start investigating the source of the threats. His personal security is being worked on and will soon be beefed up. However, no other politician has come to us over the same threats,” Onyango said.
In an interview, Kintu told New Vision that: “Police is yet to respond yet I personally made sure that the letter reaches the IGP. I have talked to a number of officers, but instead of acting, they are claiming that Seruga is an opposition activist.”
Last week, Lukwago told the media that he wanted the Police to investigate the matter with immediate effect because it set precedent when it moved swiftly against the Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze, over a social media post.
Following the murder of the Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, Nambooze was apprehended by the Police over alleged breach of the Computer Misuse Act.
Besigye’s known telephone contacts could not be reached while calls to his personal assistant, Ronald Muhinda’s calls went unanswered.
The Buganda Kingdom’s minister for Information and spokesperson, Noah Kiyimba, acknowledged that Mengo had seen the threats and was treating them seriously.
“We have seen them, but it is not only about leaders. Government should take charge of the security for all Ugandans, regardless of their positions,” Kiyimba said.
Kyagulanyi said although this was not the fi rst time his life had been threatened, he had not bothered to bring the threat to Police’s attention because the institution had lost credibility.
“I take the threats seriously, but for all the murders that have happened, it seems the Police have been involved. They have lost credibility. Remember bombs were thrown at my house, but to date, no report has been given to that effect. Nobody in this country is safe, regardless of whether you have bodyguards or not.”
At the height of the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill to scrap the presidential age limit, unknown people threw explosives at the homes of Kyagulanyi, Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West MP) and Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North MP).
But last week, President Yoweri Museveni, in an interface with MPs over the state of security in Uganda, was informed that the Police officers that had been deployed to guard MPs ran away from their duty stations and called upon the IGP to discipline the said offi cers.
The President said Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) officers could be given to each MP that feels threatened and pledged that Government would deal with the rampant urban criminality that had escalated to killings.