President Museveni has vowed to mobilise retired soldiers to combat insecurity in Uganda, malady Chimp Corps report.
The warning comes against the backdrop of increased cases of violent crime in which dozens have lost their lives.
“The recent wave of crime in Kampala and in some villages around Masaka should not scare you,” said Museveni during the Labour Day celebrations in Pallisa on Monday.
“Using improved technical means (e.g. cameras in towns) and, if necessary, the mobilization of our massive reserves, we shall destroy anybody involved either directly or indirectly,” he added.
Uganda maintains a capability to reinforce and if necessary re-constitute the Defence Forces with reserve forces.
Museveni emphasised that the NRM defeated “bigger enemies such as Kony, ADF in the Rwenzori region, the rebels in Teso and the Karimojong cattle rustlers from whom we took 40,000 rifles.”
He said anybody to “imagine that urban based criminals using the easy means of movement and communication created by the NRM (boda-bodas, matatus, mobile phones, etc) and hiding in the large number of people in the towns, will disturb our peace sustainably, is to fool oneself.”
Random killings by criminals have in recent years exposed the inability of police and other security agencies to maintain order.
But Police say they have since arrested suspected ringleaders of the crimes who are now facing trial in courts of law.
On reactivating the reserve force, Museveni said he had “already ordered the security forces how, if necessary, this can be done cost-effectively.”
Sources of reserve forces include retired officers and discharged militants, auxiliary forces, state security organisations and citizens of Uganda who have undergone military training.
The UPDF Act (2005) provides that membership of the Reserve Forces shall be restricted to the basis of human resource requirement determined by threat analysis and security considerations, age and health especially physical fitness.
The same law provides that “whenever the need arises, any retired officer or discharged militant or any member of the auxiliary forces who has not been absorbed into the reserve forces may be called upon for service in the reserve forces.”
Speaking to a huge gathering, Museveni said the only safe exit for those who have “already stained their hands with the blood of Ugandans or committed the despicable crime of rape, is to surrender and answer for your crimes in the courts of law.”
Museveni warned that any further “self-deception on your part that you can escape justice will end in your losing your life. That was the mistake of the law breakers in Kasese and Bundibugyo recently, the Karimojong cattle rustlers and the Kony and ADF terrorists in the past.”