“He’s gone,” a workmate of mine bellowed from the corner of our office. He hurriedly walked over and showed me. “Look. He’s gone,” he asserted, his hands trembling with fear. His eyes, bloodshot and his face quickly registered fear. He showed me gory pictures of the former AIGP, late Felix Kaweesi, who had just been gunned down by unknown assailants in Kulambiro, a Kampala suburb. This was on Friday morning.
It’s been the talk of town, talk of the country. A blanket of darkness covered the country and people, us, the citizenry, are trapped in fear. Assailants had pulled on motorbikes and rained the late Felix Kaweesi’s car with a hailstorm of bullets, killing all the 3 occupants. Streams of blood snaked around the dry murrum, collecting into a pool, which has now become an unforgettable image hanged in the insides of our minds.
I am scared. Everyone is scared. My neighbours are scared. My workmates are scared. I have friends who stay in Kulambiro and they can’t explain how scared they are. My mum called me from the village and said, “Tutiinire naitwe!” Loosely translated as, “We are also scared.” We are scared not because of death (it’s inevitable to die), but because of the way we shall die, the way Afande died. This is not the way people should die. This is not how the script was written. This is too fickle. Too sad. Too strange. Being gunned down in broad daylight,shamelessly, not giving a hoot about onlookers, simply borders on the new age boldness.
How safe are we?
It’s the question lingering on my mind. It’s probably the question lingering on everyone’s mind. How safe are we? The late Felix Kaweesi, by virtue of the fact that he was a high-ranking officer, had body guards. And, come on, he’s a policeman. He’s armed. He had a gun. And access to even better guns. You would fear him, really. But the assailants didn’t. They drove over with balls of steel and took his life; a person who had guns and bodyguards. If they can do it to him, how about me? How about you? How about us? Poor souls with no gun, but bare hands. Poor us with no bullets, but pants to pee in when put in a similar spot. How about us?
Insecurity in the neighborhoods has been rampant for the past years. Every day, someone is mugged in the darkened alleys as they drag their tired bodies back home. Every day, a house is broken into and valuables go missing. Every day, someone loses a tooth, a phone and a life. Every day, Kifeesi boys hatch and multiply as they please. Every day, Police buys a new book to register theft cases because yesterday’s book is full of similar cases. Every day, I fear going back home as soon as it clocks 9PM. Every day, cars are being targeted on gates by goons armed with guns, sticks, iron bars, stones, and fists. Every day, security officers promise us peace and security yet every day, their words grow teeth and they bite them.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Commander-In- Chief, “self-proclaimed freedom fighter”, thumps his chest like the mighty King Kong in an act of self-praise for having brought peace into this country. Yes, he did. I mean, I want to think it was worse back then, but sadly, we are witnessing the same things here.
We are no longer safe. We no longer sleep in peace, in our houses, in our beds, without worrying about our lives and our possessions. Something should be done. I don’t think the promised CCTV cameras will trap the burglar who’s trying to break into my house. The goon might just pose, or even take a darned selfie with the CCTV camera and run away with my 32 inch Flat TV and my sauce pans.
How safe are we?