By Max Patrick Ocaido
KAMPALA. Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba has tipped Ugandans on how to curb pockets of insecurity in their neighbourhood.
The former commander of Special Forces Command, an elite force that is responsible for providing presidential security, also advised Ugandans especially men on how to deal with the revolving technology which has come hand in hand with security challenges.
Maj Gen Muhoozi was speaking on Wednesday night during an interview on a popular NTV program-Men. Men is a Television magazine show that provides a platform where men can talk, exchange ideas, and be heard, while drawing strength and inspiration from their fellow brothers.
In the program hosted by Peter Igaga, Gen Muhoozi vividly discussed about men and their role in self and community security where he advised them (men) to love God, love their families and love their country if pockets of insecurity is to be dealt with.
"Technology is advancing so quickly and it always brings with it security challenges, we have seen private drones landing on the White House lawn in Washington. So if we are to make good use of technology to fight insecurity, then even legislation has to keep up with technology to cater for privacy and I also think it's illegal to use a drone to spy on a neighbour," Muhoozi said as he shared laughter with the host, Igaga.
During the interview that lasted about one hour, Igaga revealed that Ugandan men are obsessed with gun ownership and think that if they owned a gun then there is no need to worry about their security.
In response, Gen Muhoozi turned this as a mere stereotype and false hope saying that gun ownership is not a solution to criminality, but rather fuels crime.
"I don't think that gun ownership is a remedy to crime because look at what is happening in the U.S, where gun ownership is enshrined in the Constitution. Their guns are being used for crime. But in the UK where you are not absolutely allowed to own guns, crime is much lower," Muhoozi said.
"We had communities of people who had guns like the Karamajong until we had to disarm them of 40,000 guns because they were causing problems to themselves and also other clans and neighbouring tribes. Guns are not the answer to insecurity."
He added that guns should be in the hands of people who are trained like the army and police. Nevertheless, Muhoozi said that there is a provision for some Ugandan civilians with licenses to own guns and that these people go through a thorough vetting process controlled by Police to ascertain, among other things that they are mentally stable to own a firearm.
Gen Muhoozi also backed President Yoweri Museveni's recent 10-point strategy on how to fight criminality by using technology of camera installations, alarm systems among others.
"Technology is an enabler. The President has been talking about CCTV camera installations and that is surely another enabler for security. In advanced countries like UK or US, you can hardly make a move without a camera," Muhoozi said, adding that these camera installations are not meant to invade peoples' privacy because they will be installed in public spaces.
He also advised the public to be security conscious in their neighbourhood and report suspicious cases of criminality to the local authority including LC1 Chairperson, Defence secretary or even intelligence officer in the sub county.
"With the interaction I have had with most of my friends who have a neighbourhood watch, there seems to be less insecurity in those areas. So alertness and cooperation with police is core to fight crime," he said.
Despite some pockets of criminality in the country, Gen Muhoozi said that Uganda's security situation has tremendously improved following her history that was marred by rebel activities and massacres.
"There were 40,000 guns in Karamoja at one point, and the level of violence and criminality there was high, there were rebel groups in this country not so long ago like LRA, ADF, so you can't compare what Uganda went through in the past with now. There is just no comparison. At one time we had 1.5m people in IDP camps in the north, so security situation has improved tremendously because all those rebel groups were defeated. Overt military challenges to the state were all defeated. What is causing concern now is violent criminality especially in the urban areas," Muhoozi said.