By Stephen Twinoburyo, Pretoria.
The Uganda Record article “Panic grips Ugandan government over Kampala bomb blasts” by Timothy Kalyegira refers ( http://www.ugandarecord.co.ug/index.php?issue=68&article=836&seo=Panic grips Uganda government over Kampala bomb blasts).
I have previously written two articles in the Uganda Record and Timothy is somebody I sometimes communicate with. However on this one, I have to disagree with him.
I think this article mainly uses negation to arrive at conclusions that are actually of a serious nature – because this involves a government bombing its own people in the capital city, during a World Cup final telecast, in order to gain popularity. I truly find this far fetched, but it’s mainly the argument used to reach that conclusion that I find too imaginary. Examples of negation conclusions include:
- Because the police could not give the identities or nationalities of the four arrested suspects, the government has a hand. This conclusion omitted security concerns. It is even not imperative for the Inspector-General of police to give suspects’ details to the BBC, one of the points used by Timothy to reach his conclusions.
- That Kale Kayihura immediately pointed a finger at Al-Shabab does not point to the guilt of government. After all, why would Al-Shabab claim responsibility for an attack they were not involved in? In an earlier article, Tim claimed that the government was responsible because Al-Shabab had not claimed responsibility the whole of Monday. The eventual admission by Al-Shabab seems to mean nothing to Timothy. Also no blame can be skimmed off Okello Oryem’s speculation on the motive.
- While Tim mentions FBI, he omits that their president has pointed a finger at and condemned Al-Shabab.
- The fact that Museveni did not go with a whole battalion surrounding him while visiting the crime scenes does not mean that he has a hand in the attacks. Terrorist, by virtue of the methods they use, are not likely to attack the same place twice on two consecutive days. That would be naïve and they would most likely be caught. I in fact think Museveni stands a more personal security threat from his personal enemies within his system or the region than Al-Shabab. Tim makes a good observation about Museveni always wanting to look the one in charge. Museveni has always been the man to seek attention and look the only one capable. That’s an undesirable trait we have always seen in him and one that has ruined the functioning of institutions in Uganda. However, I can’t draw any conclusion from it as relates to the bombings.
These articles are too conspiratory yet reach far-reaching firm conclusions. While most other speculation is about motive, Tim’s conclusions are unequivocal in their determination of guilt, that is different from the confession from Al-Shabab.
In the absence of no other evidence, I have to believe the confession from Al-Shabab as well as the fact that most available circumstantial evidence now points towards them. I also have to stand beside the government in condemnation of this heinous act and support them in their efforts to pursue and punish the perpetrators.
I live in S Africa where the government has contributed a lot of resources and troops on peace-keeping missions in Africa – Burundi, DRC, Sudan, Sierra Leon e.t.c. If a bandit group from any of those regions came and bombed S Africa, in opposition to these peace-keeping efforts, I wouldn’t look at these bandits dismissively and instead condemn the S African government.
We may have our won differences and disagreements but we should not let them lessen our focus on the threat possed by these terorists on the country, and society as a whole.