OP-ED: Is ADF Also Behind The Attacks On Mobile Money Agents, Petrol Stations?


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I’m sure we’ve heard about and seen the spate of increased raids on mobile money shops in Uganda.

When you make a complex event analysis, you then should not be wondering why this is happening. It is the same reason why the security agencies like CMI, SFC, ESO, ISO, Crime Intelligence, JAT and others need to be more proactive in intelligence and counter-intelligence.

Money makes the world go round. But when it comes to terror groups and rebels, it’s the only thing that keeps them going. When terrorists are low on cash, they usually turn to a tried-and-true method of funding their activities: raiding local businesses.

When these groups are low on cash, they will often turn to loot local businesses—and they’re not above using violence to get what they want. They will use any means necessary to raid and rob local businesses as a way of creating sources of revenue to fund their needs.

The cycle is pretty simple and clear; some of the members in terror and rebel groups will specialize in intelligence gathering and spotting, others will specialize in dissecting and analysing the intelligence to create action points, and others will specialize in communicating the action points down to the fighters to implement but then all that will need money especially to buy the ammunition and cater to the fighters’ welfare.

That is where a special group of members comes in; those that know how to identify potential businesses with cash and then execute plans to raid them. These people will know the art of mixing up with the locals and learning all the dynamics and players involved in particular businesses and then executing.

I anticipate that after a successful raid that often leaves behind fatalities, the money is transported to the main leaders who then allocate the resources. We can not shy away from the fact that Uganda is facing a very determined enemy and following the events, it is possible that the ADF is responsible for the increased raids on mobile money shops.

First, there was an increased raid on security personnel in various places including those guarding fuel stations and the major loot in that period was guns. They raided and attacked security personnel for guns. How many of those guns did police or UPDF ever recover?

Soon after, that window passed and now the new terror is on mobile money shops and businesses. But the raiders use guns. Could these be the same guns that were being taken in the first wave?

So, if we are to solve criminality in Uganda, we need to be so keen on analysing events and understanding why events happen the way they happen from time to time.

So, the recent spate of increased raids on mobile money shops in Uganda should probably be linked to rebel or terrorist activity like the ADF terrorists that are probably low on funding and need to establish ways to access financial resources.

In as much as it is still not clear whether these attacks are just random acts of criminality or whether there is a deeper motive behind them, it does not eliminate the fact that there could be deeper motives and the security agencies need to be more proactive than ever when analysing intelligence and interrogating suspects.

Thoughts by Belguin Prosper Lumu, a market intelligence and strategy expert. You can follow him on his Twitter handle; @belguinprosper

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