You have heard about them; the Ruhindi sisters-fiery, iron-like, no nonsense and straight forward no matter who they are talking to.
They are; Hope Mwesigye, the NRM Kabale Women chairperson, Jacqueline Mbabazi, the outgoing National chairperson NRM Women League and Alice Ruhindi.
Alice, famous for social media criticism that sent NRM Secretary General of NRM, Kasule Lumumba, crying to the president for rescue, has now launched a fresh war on police.
While dismissing reports that crime preventers are militias, Rene M Ndyomugyenyi, BA (Hons) Law, PG Dip LPC, Msc Counter Corruption and Counter Fraud, accused JPAM Facebook team of comparing the new group to the infamous Rwandan genocidaire group called The Interahamwe who were responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against humanity in the history of mankind.
JPAM team compares crime preventers to interahamwe
On August 19, 2015, Team JPAM 2016, wrote on Facebook: “’Crime preventers’ have become somewhat of a sticky issue for debate in society these past few days. The crime preventers are ordinary citizens meant to aid the police force in ‘community policing’ but at the end of the day, they are neither soldiers nor policemen.”
“In reality, what we see as ‘Crime Preventers’ are a paramilitary force in the sense that they are trained by soldiers and have proper structures of command (this has been established). It is at this point that we must look to the past and luckily we have an example in the near past to draw lessons from of such a similar group and how their actions managed destabilize a country.”
The group continued: “The Interahamwe were a militia group formed in Rwanda with open backing from the government at the time and their method of operation was via recruitment of youth. These youth used to work and live in the same environments as the people they eventually turned on and massacred.”
It concluded: “In short, the ‘Crime Preventers’ and the ‘Interahamwe’ have more in common than we can ignore. These ‘Crime Preventers’ are a militia group that must therefore be exposed lest we risk reliving Rwanda’s past as a country.”
Police fires back
Ndyomugyenyi said he was disappointed at JPAM “for this outrageous ill-motivated accusations” saying crime preventers are going to support the police in defending their communities.
The officer told off JPAM not to “provoke us as an institution” for the purposes of cheap politicking saying they “will not deter us” from meeting “our constitutional obligations” of ‘Detecting and Preventing Crime’.
He further accused JPAM of ‘poisonous politicking’.
Alice launches artillery
In her “militant” fashion, Alice reminded police that a lot of people have called crime preventers a militia equivalent to Interahamwe demanding an explanation as to why they specifically targeted JPAM 2016 group.
“It may seem you have a clandestine agenda,” she told the cop.
Alice’s 11 questions
Why do you [police] train crime ‘promoters’ on government resources and pass them in president Yoweri Museveni t-shirts?
What exactly is the purpose of crime preventers?
Why do you use them to push NRM agenda rather than Uganda agenda?
Where in the Uganda constitution do crime preventers feature?
You want to talk about crime preventers? Let’s talk.
Explain the role of Maj Roland Kakooza Mutale in the training of crime preventers?
Explain the billions given to Brig Henry Tumukunde? Why did he bribe crime preventers to go and attack Amama Mbabazi’s home in Kololo?
Explain the use of crime preventers in targeting individuals who do not agree with Museveni’s dictatorship?
Explain why crime preventers were ferried in ambulances the day Amama was arrested & held at Kiira road police station. Why did crime preventers turn up with sticks to beat people?
Why have you not mentioned the rest of us who have been raising alarm on crime preventers?
The other day Bishop Zac Niringiye talked about crime promoters? Will you be arresting him?
Launching the war from her London home, Alice said “lots of us have questioned the usage and role of crime preventers”, arguing that police picking on JPAM 2016 goes “to show the nakedness of your mission”.
“You are just targeting Amama indirectly through JPAM 2016. Please go back to the drawing board and explain the basics to citizens who have concerns,” she warned after which she thanked the cop from whom answers are expected to the asked questions.
Well, that is as much as one would expect from what Becky in her article: “Will “the Ruhindi women” change how we think of women partnerships in a family unit?” published on Moni Pi Mon (Women for Women Uganda), calls “yellow girls” and “five feisty women who are all out on the war path”.
Those who have met or heard Jacqueline and Hope speak will understand what Becky is talking about.