Crackdown coming in Uganda after MP killed


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the country’s police chief vowed a crackdown on crime after a ruling-party lawmaker was shot dead last week by men on motorbikes.

At the funeral of MP Ibrahim Abiriga, Museveni said government would ban motorcycle riders from wearing hooded jackets. The men who shot the lawmaker were wearing hoods.

A spate of high-profile and in some cases fatal kidnappings this year led independent media and civil society groups to say police are failing in their fundamental duties and suppressing damaging crime data.

In an address at the funeral, the president vowed to defeat criminals. He also took to Twitter to warn Ugandans against “abusing social media and radio to threaten people”.

Museveni (73) has been in power since 1986. In January he signed a law scrapping an age cap for presidential candidates, a move critics say will allow him to remain in power indefinitely.

Abiriga, the slain lawmaker, was a vocal supporter of the law that removed the age cap. Opposition parties, religious leaders, human rights activists and even some members of the ruling party opposed the law.

Rising crime has eroded people’s faith in a police force opponents of Museveni accuse of serving him and not the state.

Last year, gunmen on motorbikes killed Uganda’s third- highest-ranking police officer, leading Museveni to order surveillance cameras be installed in towns and on highways.

After facing criticism for failing to solve murders and other crimes, Museveni sacked his security minister and police chief in March.

Police also attracted public criticism for their crackdown on opposition activists, often breaking up rallies with teargas, beatings and detentions.