Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has called for heightened vigilance as security agencies report plots by terrorists to attack Uganda.
In her communication to Parliament during plenary on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, Speaker Among commended security for efforts to keep the country safe, and urged collaboration and vigilance from all.
“…over the weekend, our security agents foiled a suspected terror attack at Rubaga Miracle Center Cathedral in Kampala; the security agencies reportedly recovered some bomb-making devices in other localities,” she said.
“I commend security for their swift response and urge the general public to always remain vigilant and always collaborate with security,” she added.
MP Henry Kibalya (NRM, Bugabula South) said the focus is almost entirely on the city and its environs, leaving upcountry cops under-facilitated and making the countryside vulnerable.
“The Police officers [in the countryside] are not facilitated; can we have the police come to the rescue of these people; give them motorcycles, fuel, and let the officers get facilitated,” he said.
To MP Alex Ruhunda (NRM, Fort Portal Central Division), there is a need for the government to swiftly address the security concerns in order not to hurt the economy, which he said is already struggling with rising commodities and fuel prices.
“The bedrock of our country is through peace and security; it is proper to know that saboteurs of this country will target it such that this country doesn’t have peace, so that our economy collapses,” he said.
To reassure the tourism sector, he said, it is important for government to have a controlled and deliberate communication policy with which to approach the current scare.
“We benefit a lot from tourism; we don’t need to minimize these alarms,” he said.
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Mathias Mpuuga, said government should show seriousness in handling the crisis by presenting a statement to Parliament.
“…are they [the Government] gathering intelligence or just running around; the front bench is sleeping on duty; I want to ask you Madam Speaker to use your prerogative to demand that they present a statement to Parliament,” he said.
But Third Deputy Prime Minister Hon Rukia Nakadama said the Government is in charge, and that President Yoweri Museveni will grant Security Minister Hon Jim Muhwezi clearance to give a security update to Parliament.
“I want to assure this House that the Government is not sleeping on the job; it is because of Government that you were informed and urged to stay vigilant; on matters of national security, it is the President to guarantee the Minister of Security to come and speak on matters [security]; I understand he is aware and Cabinet was briefed; security issues are not supposed to be publicized,” she said.
There has been heightened vigilance as Police over the weekend asked Ugandans to be on high alert over a possible terror attack.