Kampala Appears Lax on Security Despite Fresh Terror Alert

Despite a recent terror alert issued by the police, most parts of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, appeared to be operating normally.

A visit by our publication to churches, public transportation parks, and businesses revealed a minimal security presence.

Churches, where large congregations gather for prayers, lacked metal detectors, and worshippers entered without their bags being searched.

Even at the typically crowded Christ the King Church in Kampala, there was some security presence, but no thorough checks were conducted.

A similar situation was observed at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

On Monday, police spokesperson Fred Enanga highlighted the recovery of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in various locations, including Rubaga Miracle Centre Church, prompting increased security vigilance.

While 13 individuals have been taken into custody, a manhunt is ongoing in Kampala for four members of a suspected terror cell.

Despite this alert, the city’s atmosphere was notably relaxed, contrasting with the heightened security measures enforced in the aftermath of bomb blasts in 2010 and 2021, which claimed more than 80 lives.

Security agencies had previously conducted thorough searches, deployed personnel extensively, and enforced the use of metal detectors at building entrances.

At Kisenyi Bus Terminal and taxi parks, travelers were not subjected to searches before boarding, and passengers moved freely without checks.

Solomon Nsiimire, the chairperson of the Uganda Bus Owners Association, stated that they had instructed members to check travelers’ luggage and even use metal detectors on buses.

However, these instructions were not consistently enforced. He emphasized the need for travelers to be vigilant and responsible regarding security.

In far-western Uganda, where a recent attack by the Allied Democratic Forces took place, there was no noticeable increase in security. Private citizens took it upon themselves to enhance security measures in the region.

Within the country’s legislative assembly, concerns regarding another terror attack were raised.

Speaker of Parliament Anita Among requested a briefing from the security minister to guide the country on addressing the terror threats.

Several MPs echoed the police’s call for the public to avoid congested areas and maintain vigilance against an unseen enemy.

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