KAMPALA, Uganda – (AA) President Yoweri Museveni has criticized Ugandan police for using old methods to investigate the murders of Muslim imams in the country.
Delivering his State of the Nation address on Thursday in Kampala, Museveni said that new infrastructure had to be introduced to improve normal police investigation methods, in order to tackle the growing problem involving the murder of a number of Muslim imams.
“Such infrastructure would, for instance, include CCTV cameras in major cities, starting with Kampala,” he told legislators and foreign dignitaries during his speech.
He expressed confidence that these criminals are easy to catch.
“The police are now using old methods: ‘who has seen him,’ then they go looking for who saw who, who saw the other one, this is how the police are working,” he said.
On Dec. 25, 2014, the country was shocked to hear of the killing of Sheikh Abdu Kadir Muwaya, who was shot dead in his home at night in eastern Uganda. Muwaya was the head of the Shia Muslim Community in Uganda.
Four days later, another Muslim scholar, Sheikh Mustapha Bahiga, was gunned down by unknown assailants while on his way to the mosque to pray evening prayers.
A third attempt on another leader, Sheikh Haruna Jjemba, failed after police officers, deployed to guard his home, exchanged fire with the assailants.
These killings brought the number of Muslims killed since 2012 to six.
Investigations into the murders, however, produced more questions than answers.
Police blamed the killings on Jamil Mukulu, leader of the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Muslim rebel group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mukulu is currently in court in Tanzania, as the Ugandan government pushes for his extradition to face charges of murder, terrorism and crimes against humanity in Uganda.
Fred Enanga, a police spokesman, spoke to Anadolu Agency and acknowledged the police’s shortcomings.
“We still carry out interrogations of witnesses and they play a big role in any investigation that we do,” he said. “The witness account is not enough because these days people can be coached and others have biases.”
Welcoming the president’s decision to invest in CCTV cameras, he said: “We have to go beyond speaking to witnesses and use technological expertise as well as scientific evidence to collaborate witness accounts.”
He pointed out, however, that using technology is still a challenge.
“The country is not digitalized yet to make it easy for us to use digital equipment, but we shall get there slowly,” he said.
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