The thinking that crime is lucrative business driving Kidnaps in Uganda

Joint Statement by Uganda’s Security Agencies 

For the last five months this year 2018, we have experienced a wave of crime that has alarmed citizens. This is the kidnap crime that is a scare to the public. We acknowledge that numbers so far reported to the police stands at 70.

Fortunately, the joint security agencies are doing all in their fold to crack it down. They are considerably succeeding. Tonight, we have jointly agreed to explain to the nation what exactly is happening and how we are tackling it. We shall call upon each citizen to join hands with the security agencies in this noble cause of fighting this crime and more. Together, we want to recognize and thank the security agencies for their unwavering efforts in the fight against criminality.

The presence of the service chiefs in our midst tonight is a show of joint determination and effort not only to detect, determine the level of the threat but also to totally defeat this criminality. Our resolve to stamp out these crimes is total.

The police reports at our disposal have been analyzed very well. Ladies and gentlemen you will realize as we interact this evening that considerable breakthroughs have enabled us to know who these criminal elements are, their modus operandi, their targets (victims) and reasons for engaging in crime. Both the criminals and opportunities involved in this crime think that it is lucrative. We want to tell them that it is risky and a good number of them have been apprehended and more are yet to be apprehended.

Recently at a press conference, the Inspector General of Police explained the four categories of these kidnaps. Some are driven by terrorism and terrorism, financing, other result out of relationships gone bad (crimes of passion), whereas there are also those linked to witchcraft and human sacrifice. Lastly, the Inspector General of Police pointed out the category of those that are involved in self kidnap, who are incidentally the majority. (Refer to the graph displayed)

We may not rule out the copy cat syndrome and political sabotage. The situation will continue to be monitored very closely by the joint security forces with a sole view of stamping out these crimes. Equally, we want to restore the hope and we are here to assure you of our total determination to fight and defeat these crimes in the nearest foreseeable future.

We therefore appeal to the media fraternity to join hands with security in the fight against this criminality. Positive and factual reporting is critical. Joint and open condemnation of the criminal acts is the way to go. Ladies and gentlemen remember that security is a common good. But also, is it not our duty enshrined in the constitution in article 17 to cooperate with security in the fight against crime? Security of any nation starts with you and l.

Ladies and gentlemen, a lot has been done and more will still be done in the fight against this criminality. Many suspects have been apprehended and arraigned in courts of laws. In some cases especially self kidnap cases, we taken suspects to courts of laws and secured convictions. This sends a clear message to those that want to engage in these useless antics of self kidnap with a view of getting money from spouses, family and friends that crime is not lucrative. It is risky.

Security agencies have continued to burst terror criminal cells across the country. We have rescued women and children that have been trafficked, radicalized and driven into criminal activities. The course to identify all of them, rehabilitate them is ongoing.

We want to thank the media for providing platform for different government departments to explain these issues to the wider public in many of your interactive talk shows. Through these programs and indeed going to the community, we have emphasized the need for personal vigilance and the continued parental protection, guidance and care of the little ones.

Through the community policing programs, the police will continuously visit communities and particularly schools to interact and empower them in the fight against crime, particularly this crime against kidnap.

The Inspector General of Police has put in place a 24/7 emergency response center at Police Headquarters, Naguru to receive calls from either victims or relatives of these victims. The police have equally strengthened the 999 patrol system, linked it to local police stations and work easily with the communities. Communication, coordination and cooperation among stakeholders in the security sub sector and the communities have greatly improved.

Finally, we jointly pledge to continuously address the security concerns of mother Uganda. We ask for the same support from all citizens and more so, the media. Love of one’s country and hate of crime is the way to go.

Uganda Media Center