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JOSEPH KABULETA: Ten things that crossed my mind after bomb blasts in Kampala

A twin suicide bombing killed at least three people in the heart of Uganda’s capital on Tuesday, sending members of parliament and others rushing for cover as cars burst into flames in the latest in a wave of bomb attacks.

A twin suicide bombing killed at least three people in the heart of Uganda’s capital on Tuesday, sending members of parliament and others rushing for cover as cars burst into flames in the latest in a wave of bomb attacks.

1. Suicide bombers, if indeed they were, are a whole new phenomenon in Uganda’s terror landscape. Even the July 2010 bomb blasts that killed 74 people in Kampala were carried out by cowards dropping concealed explosives, seeking to kill others but not necessarily themselves.

2. The process of radicalizing (apparently) indigenous Ugandans with names like Wanjusi (if Museveni’s list is to be believed) and turning them into suicide bombers must be an arduous one. It requires a deep-seated grievance(s) and intense indoctrination to get a young man to wrap explosives around his body and march to his grisly death

3. If there is indeed a school in our midst that is indoctrinating our youth and turning them into death-loving radicals, how many other people have gone through that school? How many might be roaming these streets, waiting for the right opportunity to join their colleagues in the terror infamy?

4. Every time there is a blast, police claims that it has arrested tens of ‘suspects’. But then, even as those arrested are still in custody, another blast is upon us. That can only mean one of two things; either they are swinging their sickle randomly and chopping down innocent people, or terrorists are out there in very big numbers. The thought of either is scary.

5. Security has previously given recollections in the media of how they bust past Al Shabaab terror cells in Kampala after residents reported suspicious activity in their neighborhood, like people who permanently stayed indoors and only left their high-fenced houses with their faces concealed. But now, thanks to COFIT measures, staying indoors and masking faces is considered noble, compliant behavior, and that makes it easier for terrorists to avoid scrutiny.

6. Right now there are people languishing in cells because they were rounded up in bars drinking past curfew hours. And as our police is busy criminalizing revelers, terrorists are going unnoticed

7. Museveni has used his lavish classified budget to build a large spy network. If you stood at the streetside and randomly counted five people that walked past you, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one of them is a spy of some sort. With such a complicated web of informers, how could terrorists build bombs in our backyard and go ahead and detonate them, of all places, near the City’s police headquarters?
8. What is it about COFIT that scares bombs and bombers? When the virus hit, the explosions vanished and security checkers moved to sanitizer and temperature guns. Now that the COFIT mist has faded, the bombs have returned.

9. The president, in his Friday address, should remove all COFIT measures and free Ugandans to enjoy their Christmas holidays, but also, that would free police and security to go and look for terrorists and real criminals, instead of wasting their time raiding pubs and bistros

10. The government’s failure to secure the life of Ugandans means that even the most shameless Museveni apologists, who have been touting security as the last bastion of his usefulness, now have nowhere to hide. The president has FAILED ON ALL COUNTS. And since Tuesday’s bomb blasts represent a major failure of his, he must not use them to persecute his political rivals. He should focus on finding the real terrorists and not convenient scapegoats.

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