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‘Guns for our protection, not back peddling nation’

IF the Russian Mikhail Kalashnikov, who invented the AK-47 were alive today, he would have not smiled at his invention but regretted at the deaths caused by his machine particularly in the wrong hands, ‘butchering innocent’ lives and not the intended enemies.

From North to South Pole, millions of lives have been lost as a result of people who use them as trigger-happy-snipers and the most devastating one occurred recently in Uganda, part of the East African Community, when the Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, was shot dead together with his bodyguard near his home in Kawanda along the Kampala-Gulu highway.

The killers, whose motives are still unknown, with President Yoweri Museveni ordering the Police and Military to track them down suggest that some guns are in some wrong hands which require the intervention of the bloc as an entity to act very fast to avoid spill over, because no mother would be happy to lose her sibling to such criminals without a cause.

It is a fact that many African countries do not manufacture the guns and their ammunitions, but they are traded by criminals in proliferation in porous borders with the intention of committing crimes, which therefore, require the attention of every country individually, to go back to the drawing table to see into it that they take ‘stock’ of guns licenced to deserving citizens and seize the ones in wrong hands used to cause unnecessary sleepless nights because with the killers are on prowl.

These killers are so daring to the extent that what people see in movies only; tend to be practically staged in places where innocent and law-abiding citizens live mean nothing to them.

It must be admitted that globalisation and technological advancement have made it hard for security agencies in every State to remain in reactive policing or working in isolation, which implies that as much as every country works on minimising internal and cross border crimes, they should equally be frequently mounting vigorous inspections amongst their citizens to seize the illegal ones.

In an Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) delegates meeting in the Seychelles islands’ capital Victoria, it was noted that many of their countries have been hit by piracy in one way or another, and focused discussions on how to tackle maritime piracy, crime scene management and officers’ training needs.

The delegates from Seychelles, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda, ruled that crime must be fought from all angles, meaning that life of any citizen is precious and must be protected at all costs.

Common sense shows that no any country can welcome investors when its crime rate is skyrocketing and that also implies that people who cause fear in their country by abetting or fuelling crime are not law-abiding, and deserve to be “excommunicated.”

People will stop going about their daily activities in fear just because some few in their midst want to cause unnecessary fear and this must be stopped from the word go just like they tend to be kutingisha kiberiti loosely translated as trying to know whether the authorities are in their slumber bed which is not the case.

Working to keep guns out of the wrong hands is so important that should also involve rewarding those who volunteer information on those who “engage in the business of selling them,” and from there the more gun buyers will be subjected to background checks and their network cracked.

These people who terrorise others with guns are not from another planet, but live, eat and merry with others in the society just like the ordinary citizens, and this school of thought suggests that to track them requires sophisticated and informal espionage in the same society where they live.

Law enforces in the bloc should not use excessive force to squeeze information from the culprits, because in the event, they may turn to be hardcore criminals and refrain from naming their lords as well as their accomplices.

On the same length, there should be several enlightenments in the society that crime does not pay including putting Suggestion Boxes in strategic places where those who have tips on the criminals would tip the authorities to fight them collectively.

The introduction of auxiliary police as well as the vigilante one has helped to scare them to some extent, and that puts several pats on the back of the law enforcement officers, what remains is working and reminding the public that criminals are “backpedalling” the nation and deserve to be isolated.

Author: Correspondent REHEMA KULWA

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