By Prudence Nyamishana
Friends, insecurity in Kampala has reached its perturbing stage. This morning as I headed out of home, I realized that my neighbor’s headlight was missing. I was curious to know the story. He decried having lost it in the Wandegeya traffic Jam the previous morning. The visibly frustrated (Mwesigye) not real name started narrating to me the many escapades he has had with thieves in Kampala.
‘The thieves have tormented me my friend’ he said.
Mwesigye is just one example of Kampalans that are terrorized daily. It is cliché that when police arrive at the scene all they ask of the victims is to be vigilant as police is doing all it can.
But as police figure out doing all it can, the boda boda men who are striving to put food on their plates are being butchered daily by thugs that pretend to be clients.
The residents of Mukono- Seeta will also tell you that the iron-bar robbers are alive and well, targeting the hard-working Ugandans on their way from work. Unfortunately, what once used to be a problem facing mostly Mukono has spread to other districts. The crime is nowhere near being solved.
A Daily Monitor survey in August indicated that in one fortnight alone, traders had lost Shs190 million in four robberies in different parts of the city. Among them was Joseph Sserwada, who was robbed of Shs63m he had just withdrawn from a bank. Another, John Ndyasisirwa, lost Shs40.4m to robbers who held him hostage for hours. The press reported in the same month that two policemen were arrested in city robberies
It is not news anymore when you pack your car at a fuel station to catch a snack or go to the bathroom and by the time you are back your laptop is gone. Eddie my friend lost his laptop in town. He is a tall, flamboyant young man but to Eddie’s surprise he reached his destination carrying a stone in his back-pack.
Downtown kampala along the Nakivubo channel is a hub of petty thieves that target women’s had bags and necklaces.
If Ugandans cannot have a goodnight sleep worried about the thugs that might break into their homes, if Ugandans cannot drive in the city without losing their lights and side mirrors, if Ugandans cannot walk down town without fearing that thieves might steal their handbags and necklaces, then Uganda is not at peace and therefore a call to the Liberators of 1986 to stand up and face the reality and do something. The one justification that has kept them in power for the last 26 years is the excuse that they brought peace to Uganda. If peace simply put is concord, or harmony and tranquility- peace of mind and serenity then what the citizenry of this beautiful nation are facing is far from peace.
It is vital that Uganda is a good neighbor and is concerned with peace in Somalia and Congo. But it is the number one obligation of the government to protect the people of Uganda.
“We would only want to remind the UN about the rights of the people of Uganda which are the only reason we have been keenly spearheading the regional efforts to find a lasting solution to the insecurity in Eastern Congo,” Amama Mbabazi said while responding to a recent leaked report, that accused Uganda of supporting M23 in the form of direct troop reinforcement in DRC territory. Mr Prime Minister you can say that again.