Local Defense Unit deployment more dangerous – Ugandan MPs

Local Defense Unit deployment more dangerous - Ugandan MPs
ONYWAKO, UGANDA: A platoon of a Local Defence Unit (LDU) known as Rhino Boys patrols, 23 November 2003 on the main road that links the town of Lira, 380 km (200 miles) North of Kampala, Uganda. (Photo credit: MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Several legislators have lashed out at President Yoweri Museveni’s Address on National State of Affairs, saying that the security measures he proposed are unrealistic and dangerous.

In one the measures, Museveni called for the deployment of 24,000 Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel to fight urban crime in Kampala and Wakiso districts. He says the LDUs will be reinforced by the Crime Preventers who will be vetted by the newly elected Local Council committees.

The statement was made a day after the assassination of former Buyende District Police Commander Muhammad Kirumira who was gunned down by unidentified men, in Bulenga, Wakiso District on Saturday night. Kirumira was killed alongside one Resty Nalinnya Mbabazi.

President Museveni is optimistic that the deployment will go a long way in curtailing such crimes until other security measures like the installation of security cameras in major towns are implemented. But Members of Parliament are worried that the deployment will instead increase the number of guns in the hands of ‘unprofessional people.’

Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Seggona says arming LDU’s is more dangerous and will most likely create more insecurity in the country.

Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri Ezati says that the return of the local defence units is not a solution to Uganda’s security question adding that an army of 24,000 LDU’s could be disastrous in a country where gun control is still a challenge. Wadri says Ugandan leaders need to focus more energy on addressing the root causes of problems affecting Ugandans.

Wadri also says contrary to Museveni’s statement that the country is at a take off stage and has surplus electricity; areas like West Nile are in total darkness.

Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo says the president promised a lot just to give Ugandans false hope adding that Uganda’s problems can only be answered if the succession question is resolved.

Dokolo South MP Felix Okot Ogong says the President is trying to allay fears of the public and is trying to appear strong yet knowing that the situation is dire.