In recent days, Uganda has been grappling with a series of terror alerts, but the reactions from the public have been diverse. Despite warnings from President Museveni and foreign diplomatic missions, many Ugandans appear unconcerned about the potential threats.
One notable aspect of this situation is the lack of strict enforcement of security guidelines in places of worship, markets, and taxi parks. While the government advised that congregants should show their national identity cards before entering religious premises, this directive hasn’t been rigorously followed.
The police have permitted various gatherings, including concerts and processions, which have attracted large crowds. Locations such as the Independence Grounds, Acacia Avenue, Makindye, and Kabalagala have witnessed increased activity since the terror alert was issued.
The National Unity Platform (NUP) and its leader, Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), have been vocal in dismissing the terror alerts, suggesting that they may be politically motivated to hinder their activities, especially in Kampala City.
The debate over the authenticity of the terror alert has even extended into formal channels, prompting security personnel to respond to doubters. Officials from the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs have consistently affirmed the credibility of the threats, emphasizing that they are not intended to obstruct Opposition members from engaging with their supporters.
Despite the history of past terror alerts causing panic and heightened security measures, the fear among the public seems to have diminished. Some leaders within the taxi and bus operators’ community have reported reluctance among clients to comply with new security guidelines, citing concerns about politicization and selective enforcement.
This isn’t the first time that the Opposition has accused the government of manipulating terror threats. In the past, during periods of political unrest, the police issued terror alerts that were perceived by some as attempts to curtail citizens’ rights and freedoms.