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End abductions in 2023

Kidnapping drones were too common in 2022

at Citizen TV

Without a doubt, 2022 has been a weepy year.

If we grouped key phrases and names most frequently mentioned in 2022 into topics to easily pinpoint the most talked about issues of the year, top on the list would be COVID-19, Ebola, high commodity prices, protests, crime, and abductions—all of which have caused so much pain and made Ugandans tear up all year long.

At the start, the year 2022 offered some optimism for Ugandans scarred by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 had breathed on past its life-threatening peak of 2020 and 2021. New cases, hospitalizations, and deaths had dropped in most parts of the country.

There was excitement when the government reopened the economy after two years of lockdown restrictions, which disrupted daily life, travel, and work. But that excitement was quickly dampened mid-year by high commodity prices, which stirred anger and protests.

Before we knew it, there was a spike in violent crime and abductions. Reports of violent deaths, robberies, and kidnappings—many involving “criminal gangs and uniformed armed men”—increased dramatically as we raced to the end of the year.

Sadly, there are more questions and lamentations than answers. Teary parents and relatives continue to mourn their dead and look for their missing relatives and friends abducted by gun-toting men moving in omnibuses commonly called drones.

Surprisingly, those in charge don’t seem to be in charge, going by the official lamentations they are offering. Interviewed about the abductions recently, the outspoken minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, said when a government begins abducting its citizens, it is no longer a government.

“People get arrested, not abducted. Why should a government abduct its citizens? Where do you take them after abducting them? People are supposed to be arrested and confined in gazetted places of confinement,” he said.

He said whoever arrests people and puts them in ungazetted places of confinement is a criminal who should be arrested. President Museveni shocked many last Friday when asked about the rampant abductions.

He said, “These abductions. Who are these people conducting abductions? When there were the other riots (November 2021), I called for a security meeting and gave them guidelines to follow. I would want to know who is abducting people.”

Let the tears stop in 2022. Ugandans have a right to life, peace, liberty, and security. The year 2022 has been bruising. But “not all challenges or storms come to disrupt your life; some come to clear the path for better things.”

We’ve learned our lessons, and hopefully 2023 will be better. To those who have believed and trusted in our products and services, we are extremely grateful. We cannot take your support and well thought out criticism for granted.

We are especially grateful to the team that has maintained the paper; the authors, columnists, contributors, interns, editors, marketing, and circulation staff. We could not have had a better team. To those we rubbed the wrong way while offering our services, we say sorry; we never intended to hurt you.

We pledge to be alert to any ill motive that some bad intentioned people may wish to channel through our medium. We are a fair medium.

We are guided by the principles of balance, fairness, objectivity, and honesty. Whenever we fall short of those principles, we correct ourselves and admit our mistakes.

Happy New Year.

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