Police warns public places to raise security levels

DIGP Maj Gen Tumusiime Katsigazi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP)  Maj Gen Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime has ordered all owners of public places to intensify security checks following the recent incidents of roadside bombings on Masaka road.

At least two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted on the roadside have exploded at Kalandezi village in Mpigi district and Kyangoma village in Lwengo district damaging three vehicles including two in the motorcade of Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija.

Gen Tumusiime said security and the public put emphasis on fighting Covid-19 at the expense of security vigilance a reason terror groups have successfully carried out attacks. Uganda has registered several bomb explosions since October last year where nine people including four suspected suicide bombers died.

“When we embarked on Covid-19, we loosened our guard on containing terrorism. When you go into town you don’t find schools, business centers, or hospitals checking people for terrorism. We have put our vigilance levels down. We need to put the strength we put into anti-Covid19 to fighting terrorism. Terrorism is real, terrorism is here,” Gen Tumusiime said.

Security analyst, Charles Rwomushana, believes roadside bombings need swift investigation and hunt for the perpetrators because they are more impactful. Rwomushana, explains that roadside bombs are deliberately intended to hit huge numbers of passengers or Very Important Persons.

Rwomushana warns that roadside bombs have the capacity to neutralize even armored vehicles a reason they should swiftly be contained.

Gen Tumusiime said police commanders in different areas should ensure public and busy places such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and entertainment places have bomb or weapon checking mechanisms.

Although security agencies are mandated to protect citizens and their property as well as the state sovereignty, Gen Tumusiime reminded the citizens to play their civic roles of ensuring they are the first line of their own security.

He also said that LCI Chairpersons Gen Tumusiime, must restore the traditional mechanisms of ensuring every resident is registered. Lodging places such as hotels and guest houses have been urged to always collect details of their clients including photocopying their Identity Cards.

“Yes, security agencies are mandated to ensure security, and they are paid for that. But the citizens have a civic responsibility to ensure security. If you are an LC1 chairperson, you should know your residents. We need to go back to that traditional method by ensuring that everybody is registered and known. If we need our security, we must all be conscious,” Gen Tumusiime said.

On several occasions, police and sister security agencies have urged hotel and guest owners to always register their clients in vain. Even LCIs have not bothered registering their residents as security has often advised.

Gen Tumusiime explained that the joint anti-terrorism forces are yet to arrest any suspect linked to the explosions on Masaka road that almost claimed the life of Dr. Zeija. He also said the four police escorts in custody will be handled at the administrative level.

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