In a move to fight and reclaim illegal ownership of firearms by Ugandans, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has declared amnesty for people owning guns and small weapons illicitly. This is in accordance with the African Union’s initiative, ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030.’
The amnesty provides that civilians who voluntarily surrender the weapons to the state will be protected under the provision of anonymity and will be free from prosecution.
However, RX Radio Presenter James Onen alias Fatboy reasoned that if the project is primarily targeted towards people in the Northern region, the government is to blame for citizens who make or own firearms illegally.
“It's the fault of the government that people have to resort to manufacturing and acquiring these illegal weapons because for instance, people in Karamoja are constantly under threats of being raided and having their cattle rustled. That is why they take it upon themselves to provide protection to them and their cattle.”
“I don't know if there’s a similar problem of insecurity in the wider population but it calls for the government to take action in providing adequate security to the whole country equally, such that the illegal gun ownership can be an issue that is overcome,” he added
In addition, the show Co-host Olive Najjuma voiced the need to re-amend the Uganda Firearms Act of 1975 which is now obsolete. The Act states that a civilian caught in illegal possession of a firearm be fined Ugx.1,000, that now the UPDF Act is being used in substitute since it’s more stringent.
The Amnesty Project, launched by Minister of Internal Affairs Maj. General Kahinda Otafire, is intended to improve public safety by reducing the number of illegally owned firearms in the hands of Ugandan communities.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.