The Insight: Always be your brother’s keeper

BY JOHN VIANNEY AHUMUZA

Uganda has gone through troubling moments with a rage of systematic shootings towards some citizens. These events have continued to cause panic and fear in the public.

In a Christian perspective, Christ gives us a channel through which we can avert acts of terror.

This is enshrined in the two greatest commandments Love God with all your heart, soul and spirit; and love our neighbour as you do  love yourself.

This concept focuses on  the aspect of forgiveness which is key in the human fraternity.

It is very hard to fight terrorism. However, the following are some of the ways through which we can aid our communities to identify and isolate perpetrators of acts of terror.

  • For those people with rental premises or hotels, take details of the clients you receive. Apparently in Uganda a national identification card is very key. If possible for any suspicious person, secretly take their photo using simple gargets like your smart phone. This may be of help in future.
  • Report any suspicious persons to responsible organs at any area of  the suspected scene of crime.
  • Take time to interview suspicious persons sometimes repeating some questions to prove the competence of the person. This may help as well.
  • Make use of local council personnel in your area to officially introduce new people who seek residency in your village.
  • Monitor and observe closely the lifestyle of the suspected person. It is simple to identify criminals by critically observing their body language and lifestyle.
  • Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to decide upon program strategies and activities.
  • Consider linking with an existing organization, such as a citizens’ association, community development office, tenants’ association, or housing authority.
  • Hold crime prevention fairs at a church hall, temple, shopping mall, university main hall or community center.
  • Physical conditions like abandoned cars or overgrown vacant lots contribute to crime. Sponsor cleanups, encourage residents to beautify the area, and ask them to turn on outdoor lights at night.
  • Emphasize that crime Watch groups are not vigilantes and should not assume the role of the police.

Their duty is to ask neighbours to be alert, observant, and caring and report suspicious activities or crimes immediately to the police.

Society must create ideal conditions for justice to prevail, employment opportunities and fostering planning.

A peaceful society is everyone’s wish. After all terrorism has never been part of African culture.

The writer is a lecturer at the Foundations Studies Department

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