Africans Rising regret the death of Muhammad Kirumira, a Former Ugandan Buyende District Police Commander that occurred on Saturday, September 8, 2018. Muhammad’s voice in Uganda was one of the many few voices that never feared the purported drum beat of selective justices and human right violations by higher authorities. His actions in the justice system were exceptional and much needed in the recently troubled Uganda. It’s sad to have witnessed such a man being gunned down along with a counterpart in cold blood by assailants motorbike riders.
Muhammad was a vocal critic. Upon his resignations due to false acquisitions of indiscipline, Muhammad received several threats from prominent Ugandan police officers, including General Kale Kayihura, a Ugandan lawyer and former national police chief. However, a critic should not be gunned down or be harmed in any way for standing up for what is right. Muhammed and all other patriots who have been silenced during their fight for the good of the Ugandan people should not die in our memories, nor should their sacrifices be met with indifference.
A similar case recently unfolded as the world watched Bobi Wine’s ordeal with his enemies. The Lawmaker’s driver was shot dead in an alleged attempt to assassinate Bobi himself. He was even, afterward, mal handled in the hands of state authorities for allegedly possessing firearms and for stoning the presidential convoy.
Similarly, in March 2017, Uganda police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his bodyguard and driver were shot dead on their way to work on Friday morning by unknown assailants believed to be riding motorcycles. Oddly enough, Kale Kayihura was the main suspect behind Kaweesi’s assassination and was arrested after being sacked as inspector general of police. Many had speculated that Kaweesi’s murder was an inside job. There were reports that he was investigating a fraud-related case involving his senior colleagues but this theory remains challenged.
Many more Ugandan citizens continue to be targeted merely because they have something different to say; their views on how the future of Uganda should look like remain as a fainting source of hope for all of us to hold on to. African leaders should and must protect the rights and dignity of their people, especially those who have something different to say. Criticism is crucial in nation-building, we can learn so much from the legacies of Muhammad Kirumira and Andrew Felix Kaweesi. Silencing their critical voices means no good for our continent.
Therefore, with the goal of actualizing the Africa we want, Africans Rising extends deepest condolences to the families of the victims with our most sincere solidarity. In the plight of leveraging our shared dignity, peace, and prosperity, the struggle continues.
— Written by Musa Kanneh and Imen Haddad