Ugandans received the killing of AIGP Felix Kawesi with mixed reactions. The oppressors are worried of an armed resistance group while the oppressed are jubilating. This is the 14th killing of high profile figures in a similar fashion in recent times. It started with the Muslim clerics, then the Chief Prosecutor, Joan Kagezi.
Though some people have opted to brand these killings as acts of terrorism, the killings have only targeted specific individuals as opposed to indiscriminate killings. In the case of Joan Kagezi, the killers avoided harming her children and driver. In the case of the Muslim clerics, the killers spared others by not attacking while their victims are in Mosques, homes and other public places. For Kawesi and Maj. Kiggundu their drivers and body guards were killed because they were armed thus a potential obstruction.
Even before the current wave, there had been killings of a similar nature in the past. The shooting dead of Andrew Kayiira shortly after he was acquitted of treason charges. The shooting dead of ISO's Lt. Michael Shalita over a smuggling scam by a top regime General. The killing by drowning of CMI's Lt. Denis Bataringaya who had investigated the robbery of Congolese Mombasa destined coffee in transit by a top army General. The shooting dead of the former IGP Apollo Byekwaso near his home in Kyengera shortly after he had been summarily dismissed from the Police.
In the late 1960s, Brig Okoya was shot dead from his home in Acholiland allegedly by Iddi Amin before he became president. There was an attempt at assassinating former President Obote at Lugogo. Pro-Buganda Kingdom ardent subjects conniving with some dismissed army officers laid an ambush along Port Bell road in Kampala hoping to assassinate Obote but instead it’s his Vice President, John Babiiha who was shot and injured.
An attempt by exiles to assassinate former President Iddi Amin at Nsambya Barracks only ended up fatally injuring his driver. During the UNLF (post Iddi Amin) era a number of prominent people fell victim to targeted killing by shooting in Kampala. They were being perpetrated by rival in-fighting groups seeking to undermine one another for the control of Kampala (Museveni's FRONASA Vs Obote's Kikosi Malum).
During the Museveni Bush War, a special task force (urban hit squad) called Black Bomber (BB) under Matayo Kyaligonza whose mission was to spread terror and blame it on government forces, carried out assassinations in Kampala city. At one time Kyaligonza personally shot dead a DP Member of Parliament for Mwenge county, Hon. Bamuturaki who fell into an ambush set for a senior army officer in the loos of one of the drinking joints at Kisementi in Kampala.
In the mid 1990s the short-lived National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Maj. Herbert Itongwa rebel group ambushed and hacked to death Regional Police Commander, Karakire along the Kampala-Masaka Road. The same group later kidnapped the then Minister of Health, James Makumbi but was later released. The sectarian oriented Museveni regime lamented why Dr. Makumbi a Muganda was spared but IP Karakire a Muhima was killed. They even went as far as alleging that the kidnap had been stage-managed.
Museveni has directed the installation of CCTV cameras in the entire Kampala city, all towns and highways throughout the country. As a security expert, he urged citizens to physically confront such elements thus; "If you notice such characters and especially if they are trailing a person with armed guards, you should take prompt action and challenge them." His police chief said that even without CCTV cameras the force has succeeded in curbing violent crime. He instead called for public vigilance in form of the Neighborhood Watch scheme.
The usual beneficiaries of government contracts are going to reap big in inflated procurement of substandard cameras. Last year cameras at a human rights NGO captured very clear footages of two men who had broken into its offices and stolen computers and documents after killing a security guard but no suspect was found.
The high-profile killings are not done by any anti-regime group. It is carried out by people who were highly trained on the tax payer's money. The high-level skills and professionalism exhibited depicts people who excelled in topics like surveillance/stalking, VIP protection, fire and manoeuvre, shooting at moving targets, etc. People armed, and enjoying the full protection of their well-placed god fathers.
The confidence exhibited by the attackers depict an assurance from some circles of non-obstruction by 'friendly forces'. IGP Kalekyezi is not a threat to Museveni's hold on power. Relieving him can worsen the situation if he opts to let his mad dogs on the loose with indiscriminate targets in order to discredit his successor. Dismantling his mafia empire has to come at a high cost.
Even in the Kawesi case, the mafias have the capacity to come up with hired suspects in order to hoodwink the public. However, such killings help the regime in psychologically preparing Ugandans in the event it opts to target leading opposition activists. It helps the regime to intensify its repression, instil fear in the general public, pass draconian decrees, and skyrocketing of expenditure on security.
Otherwise for now there is no anti-regime group that is targeting regime functionaries or aiming at tarnishing its already tarnished image. Even if it was to be there, killing of Kawesi wouldn’t be the priority.
The regime would be panicking and as the Prime Minister put it, its security forces are in-charge of the situation. Therefore, such killings will continue as long as they are not a threat to the regime. Forget about the rhetoric of tarnishing the image that would affect tourism and investment, what matters is the regime’s survival against all odds. Moreover, its image is always tarnished by killings in hundreds and what about this isolated incident of Kawesi.
Same suspects, different motive.
INFORMATION IS POWER AND DEFIANCE IS THE WAY TO GO