The continued brutal arrests in the country that normally seem like kidnaps at the start have a serious effects on the lives of Ugandans.
Just yesterday, a very disturbing video was shared showing how the Victoria University Vice Chancellor, Dr Lawrence Muganga, was brutally grabbed from his office.
The very brutal people, that we later learnt were security personnel, created immense fear at the premises. In fact, after bandling the VC into their waiting vehicles, they went back to the reception and threatened the receptionist before grabbing a Visitor’s book and tearing out a page where I think they had registered themselves as visitors.
That was overwhelming terror before the innocent staff.
According to the video clip, those who remained were so terrified. I am sure they are all traumatised now, including the VC himself and his body guard. I think some of them never slept even. The scene was horrible. Whatever happened was so terrible to watch.
But that is only part of my point today. The main point is that the more arrests like this are effected, the more chances of goons taking advantage of the situation and carrying out their heinous acts. If I may ask, how many people can now confidently confront kidnappers even if they kidnap someone from a busy city centre or a mall or a street? How many? Personally, I would never risk doing that because of the situation at hand.
Security personnel are effecting arrests in a manner similar to what kidnappers do.
In Tooro right now, people are mourning. The Ntoroko NRM chairperson, Japheth Kabagambe Akiiki, was kidnapped from Centenary bank in Fort Portal on Thursday. I am sure people saw him being picked up. But may be they thought he was being arrested.
Yesterday, his body was found lying on the banks of River Mpanga in Ibanda district. People will cry, others will wail but he is gone already. A life of a father, a friend, a relative, and even role model, has been cut short.
If security personnel are serious about ensuring the safety and property of Ugandans, how do vehicles with kidnapped or even bodies of murdered people cross several districts or checkpoints? How does that happen?
I strongly believe that if arrests that look like kidnaps continue taking place, kidnappers will not hesitate to use the grand opportunity to kidnap people and ensure their illicit business thrives, all that to the disadvantage of Ugandans.