Last week, the US Embassy warned its citizens in Uganda about a possible terror threat. Police followed it up with increased vigilance and surveillance of target places, including, securing border points.
Police, however, did not rule out the terror threat, and appealed to citizens to be more vigilant and report any suspicious people and items. Police needs every citizen’s eyes and ears in the fight against criminality, including terrorism.
The best way to defeat terrorism is to arrest its masterminds before they kill people or destroy any property. However, that requires good and credible intelligence. And it needs good prosecutors like Joan Kagezi who unfortunately was gunned down on Monday evening.
It is still too early to tell who killed the assistant Director of Public Prosecutions in charge of international crimes, as no group or person has come out to own up to the heinous crime.
What is however true, is the high level of terror threat in the country. The country has not yet forgotten the December 2014 killing of Sheikh Mustafa Bahiiga, the Kampala District Amir of the Jamu-i-yyat Dawah Al-Salafiyyat, who was gunned down at Bwebajja Mosque on Entebbe Road where he was going for prayers and the Christmas Day murder of the leader of Shiite Muslim Community in Uganda, Sheikh Abdu Kadir Muwaya, at his home in Mayuge District.
There are other people being killed in this manner, who may not be as prominent as the ones above, and it is a cause for concern.
The murder of Kagezi is a blow to the nation and particularly, the Judiciary and her family but also a reminder that terrorism has no boundary.
The Judiciary should also know that its employees and witnesses involved in high profile cases such as Kagezi, should be secured, whether they want the protection or not.
Kagezi was the lead prosecutor in the case of the 2010 bomb suspects, and it is worrying that security organs dropped their guard in protecting her both at home, work or in movement. In any democracy, finding a balance between protecting the rights of individuals and protecting them from criminal activity, including terrorism, is a challenge. But the state should know better what security means to such people’s lives, and they should explain it fully.
Lastly, although the High Court has indefinitely suspended the hearing of the 2010 bomb suspects’ cases in which Kagezi was the lead prosecutor it is imperative that Judiciary resolves to complete this trial, in fairness but expeditiously.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor