Buganda Kingdom monarch Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi II has urged his followers to mobilise themselves against increased attacks by criminals in the central region.
The King, who was celebrating his 63rd birthday in Masaka on Friday, expressed shock that criminal gangs continue to terrorise and kill innocent people in Buganda.
“The rate at which innocent people are being kidnapped and killed even after their dear ones have paid ransom, is alarming,” said Mutebi at a gathering that attracted thousands of his subjects.
“In other circumstances, leaflets carrying threatening messages are circulated and indeed these threats are acted upon with people being hacked to death in Buddu and Lwengo,” he emphasised.
“These sad incidents evoke horrible memories of the previous reigns of terror that forced civilians to spend nights in the bush in fear of their lives. Now is the time to mobilise and defend yourselves against perpetrators of these criminal acts,” charged a visibly perturbed Kabaka.
This is the first elaborate and candid statement from the Kabaka in the wake of increased attacks in Buganda by panga-weilding thugs.
Unknown machete-wielding assailants raided different homes in Kabukolwa village in Kingo sub-county (Lwengo) and Kyamabale village in Kibinge sub-county (Bukomansimbi) on New Year’s Eve where they killed four people including a retired policeman.
Several other victims sustained injuries in the attacks that have sent shockwaves down the spine of Uganda’s security services.
President Museveni in his annual address singled out insecurity as one major challenge that faced Uganda in 2017, particularly the killing of 27 women in a wave of urban crime.
He attributed it to the infiltration of the Police by criminals, lack of enough forensic experts to handle sophisticated criminal elements as well as lack of cameras on streets and highways.
Without mincing words, the Kabaka further expressed shock that local council committees which were elected after the war that brought President Museveni in power were non-existent.
“These committees played key roles in strengthening security and encouraging people to participate in developmental activities at the grassroots level. 15 years down the road, no elections have been held to constitute these committees,” said Mutebi as the crowds listened attentively.
“The failure to elect village committees has created an atmosphere of uncertainty,” said Kabaka, urging authorities to address the matter with the view of beefing up security of local people.
The King also spoke out on the recently released maps of Uganda by the central government which didn’t indicate Buganda region.
“There are some maps of Uganda which were issued by the Central Government. While other regions of Ankole, Busoga, Acholi, Bunyoro, Karamoja, Teso, Tooro, Bugisu and others are clearly indicated on the map, Buganda is missing,” said the King.
“What is the motive behind this action?” wondered Kabaka, adding, “Whoever does this is clearly ignorant.”