By Jens Mukiibi
Former UPDF commander Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu has warned against politicizing the assassination of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga as well as the recent spate of kidnappings and killings that has spread fears of insecurity in the country.
President Yoweri Museveni said Abiriga’s murder was most probably a political assassination.
Abiriga was a staunch supporter of Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) but was brutally assassinated as near his home on the outskirts of Kampala last week, a killing reminiscent of recent similar murders of prominent officials, including former AIGP Felix Kaweesi, former state prosecutor Joan Kagezi, a UPDF Major and as many as seven Moslem Sheikhs.
Abiriga’s assassination last week has left many, including Museveni, worried about the risks of supporting a government has been in power for over three decades.
But Mugisha Muntu, a former army commander who now plies his political trade in the corridors of Opposition Forum for Democratic Change, has warned that politicizing the current spate of murders and kidnaps could have devastating consequences.
According to Muntu, “it is important that we as a country take stock of where we are and how we have arrived at this point”.
“Many people have already made conclusions about why the late MP and his brother, Said [Kongo] were murdered,” wrote Muntu.
“It is important that we allow for facts to bear themselves out rather than act based on speculation.”
Muntu, who is seen by some as a moderate opposition figure noted that insecurity was not partisan, adding that there could be links between Abiriga’s murder and previous killings.
“The style in which they were killed is consistent with several previous high profile murders: Joan Kagezi, Felix Kaweesi and several Muslim clerics,” further wrote Muntu.
“The murder comes at a time when fatal kidnaps, raping and robberies are on the rise nationwide.
Muntu called for a united voice and efforts against murders and kidnaps.
“Because an insecure Uganda affects us all, it is important that we all work towards ensuring that these kinds of murders (or the angry backlash that follows) do not become our way of dealing with political, social or financial differences as a country,” he said.
He then warned against the dangers of politicizing Abiriga’s murder and other killings before it.
“I, therefore, appeal to Ugandans to avoid politicising these deaths,” pleaded Muntu, a former rebel in the war that brought Museveni to power.
“When we allow ourselves to engage in a ‘we vs them’ war, we will find ourselves in a zero-some war in which Uganda is burnt to ashes and no one wins. We are better than that.