ANDREW MWENDA: My theory of Kampala’s bomb blasts

Veteran journalist, Andrew Mwenda. (FILE PHOTO)

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Veteran journalist, Andrew Mwenda. (FILE PHOTO)

After reviewing the stories on mainstream media and listening to security officials talk, I am inclined to believe that yesterday’s bomb blasts were not by suicide bombers. And here is why.

When one views the video of the bomb at CPS, the alleged suicide bomber detonates the bomb while walking in the middle of the road with only about three people near him. He does not seem to even be aware that he is carrying a bomb that could kill him. He does not even seek to move to a position where he has many people in his target. There are loose entry restrictions into CPS. Terrorists seek to dramatize their actions by massively killing many people. For impact, a suicide bomber would have entered the lobby and detonated from inside, or at worst he would have detonated outside, where many police officers sit and stand – thereby harvesting a big kill.

Secondly he seems to pick something like a detonator but which I think could have been phone call. It seems he had instructions of where to go but without knowing what the real mission was. The person controlling the detonator could have been at a distance. Realizing his agent was not reaching the target correctly he decided to detonate and get whatever little damage he could salvage.


Regarding the bomb at Parliamentary Avenue, the same applies. There is some reasonable police presence at two places: the gate that enters parliament and the one at Bowman House that houses the ministry of justice. If one detonated a bomb at any of these gates he could get anything between six and ten police officers dead. But the alleged suicide bomber detonated on the side of Jubilee Insurance where he has little chance of killing people.

It is therefore possible the two people were not even aware they were carrying a bomb; at the very least, if they knew they were carrying a bomb, they were not aware it was supposed to explode on them. I infer this from their behavior as explained above. This suspicion is strengthened by the story of the their alleged suicide bomber.

According to the police, people in Nansana had a scuffle in a house, then a shooting and then saw a man came out of the house and jump onto a boda. Neighbors called police who chased the man on a boda all the way to Bwaise and killed him. I suspect the scuffle in the house could have began when the person to carry the bomb realized the mission and refused. His boss, the one to control the detonator, shot him and ran away. Either because his role was not to kill himself, or just in the heat of the moment, he did not carry a detonator – the reason police caught and killed him without killing himself and others.

All these stories suggest that the persons who we think are suicide bombers could have been innocent robots used by others to carry out a mission they knew little or nothing about.

This is what explains why so few people were killed – only three. If they were suicide bombers they would have carefully selected their targets to be places of high population concentration able to harvest many deaths – like a traffic jam or Kikuubo. And of the target were security installations, their detonation point would have been closer to security personnel.

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