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In Uganda criminals run the show

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By Moses Ssejjoba

The state of Ugandan security has never been at its worst, with hundreds of murders taking place, a good number involving high profile individuals. All of the murders remain unresolved.

The latest are two separate incidents in which two people – including a member of President Museveni’s family – died on Entebbe Expressway. The other murder took place on the same night in the Greater Masaka area, where an entire family, including a months-old baby, was wiped out.

Photo above: The late Nagirinya, Ziggy Wine, and Kimberly Sue Endicott, victims of murder and kidnap. In Uganda no one is safe from crime.

Less than a fortnight ago, two people, a lady identified as Maria Nagirinya and her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa, were abducted from the gate of the former’s home in Kampala as they returned from work.

Their bodies were two days later discovered in a swamp along Mukono road where they had been dumped. Around the same time, the body of a famous businessman identified as James Kalumba was discovered in the same area, decomposing, after he had been reported missing a month earlier on August 8.

Related: With ongoing collapse of law, Kampala leadership is running around like a headless chicken

Back to the double murder at Entebbe Expressway, the sheer incompetence of security agencies on mere basics of crime-scene management was at full display.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga made a complete mockery of himself and the institution he speaks for when he had to change the identities of the (well known) victims on at least four occasions within less than 10 hours.

Enter Sobbi. Remember the self-confessed murderer who in December 2017 came out with a bunch of fellow criminals to tell Ugandans that they were renouncing their criminal ways?

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For those who did not follow the well-publicized furore, this man, who said he had been involved in dozens of murders and countless violent robberies, came out to say that he was abandoning criminality. For good measure, Sobbi promised Ugandans a crime-free festive season that year.

The festive season indeed passed with no incident – a fact that was later confirmed by police. It confirmed one thing: criminals run the show in Uganda.

Related: Ugandan authorities’ cover up of Ziggy Wine’s murder backfires

The reason of his coming out was not that there had been any sort of divine intervention; it was rather because by his own admission, the people he was working with in security agencies refused to pay him his dues. After this, little was heard of him.

He would occasionally show up at functions of President Museveni donning the yellow paraphernalia of the ruling NRM, and would be seen rubbing shoulders with top commanders of security organs.

He only came out a few days back, saying that he was now working for the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), which is known more for assassinations, and torture of people in “safe houses” than maintaining security.

“I work with ISO and we are handling with them a number of high profile murders that have taken place,” Sobbi, whose real name is Paddy Sserunjoji told a local radio station.

Related: In Museveni’s Uganda, kidnappings only make news when the victim is American

He went on to boast on the popular radio show, hosted by famous media personality Bashir Mbaziira Kazibwe, that he was privy to so much information about almost all the murders that have taken place over the past five years or so.

“Most of those murders we committed them and we are working with law enforcement agencies to return security to Uganda!” he said. Sobbi is actually known to operate some of the “safe houses”, including one on an Island in Lake Victoria where it is known people have even been tortured to death.

Related: Gabula is just one of the tens of thousands of Museveni’s victims

All the so-called security measures that the president brags about, including the much-publicized CCTV cameras (and that are parroted by his minions) are just a sideshow.

The decay is within the security agencies, and it runs from the very top, the office and household of the Commander in Chief himself.