By Steven Mugarura
Quality service delivery in Government departments, particularly, the Police, has for long been impeded by both logistical and structural bottlenecks. My early days of service as a District CID Officer were in a Station that acutely lacked custody facilities for both females and juvenile offenders.
Men, women and children in conflict with the law were all detained in one custody, sharing facilities like washrooms and corridors, making them to mix easily during day and access each other’s cubicles. I repeatedly presented this problem during stakeholders’ meetings like DSC, though it never pleased my seniors, bosses.
My argument was that, we could never solve any problem in concealment. By the end of the year, some stakeholders like International Community for Red Cross and “Save the Children” NGO had helped with donations and constructed separate beautiful lodging facilities for female and Juvenile suspects. However, by the time the problem was rectified, it had inflicted indelible scars on victims and the institution at large.
There was a story of a female suspect who was taken advantage of by a male detainee in custody. A conman who called himself a son of Laurent Bagbo, former Ivorian President, had been detained for obtaining credit by false pretence. This is after he, for several weeks, slept, dined, and wined in Mountains of the Moon Hotel and failed to clear his bills.
While in detention, he falsified his APP slip to indicate big amounts of money in dollars and a BMW motor vehicle which he claimed were in safe custody of the police. He reportedly convinced the suspects in custody that he would bail them out financially when he is released. Among them was a female suspect who had been detained for defaulting on a bank loan of UGX4M.
Male suspects reportedly offered him cover and he enjoyed pleasant moments with a female. He was later produced in court and remanded in Katojo prison. While in Katojo prison, he caused havoc when he came up with allegations that the DPC Kabarole had confiscated his money and a BMW vehicle. Investigations were later to prove that the man appeared at Mountain of the Moon Hotel with a small backpack without a car and the DPC was exonerated.
The stories were awakened by a big story in Kampala when the same man was making news in main the stream media when he made wild claims at CPS Kampala, that the Kampala Metropolitan Commander AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi confiscated his two million dollars (Ush7.6 billions). I submitted the file in Fort Portal to the region and later to Kampala on orders from Kibuli CID headquarters.
Together with other similar cases, investigations established that the man who called himself Azizi Okomwoke Siyambonga, a son of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, was instead a common from Buikwe, known by his true name Ssemogerere Paul. He was serially in a habit of framing law enforcers. AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi would have found it difficult to extricate himself if he was a small ranking officer.
The audacity of that criminal to dare such a big officer was blamed by sections of independent analysts on internal intrigue. One subtle weapon intriguers use is slander. I received my share while I was for a short course back in 2013 when, I read a newspaper story captioned; “OC CID arrested over theft”. The intriguers expected me to be dropped from my position if they made such fake stories but my bosses advised me to ignore.
When I resumed office, work was ordinary. One day, I received an anonymous call from a young female voice who called herself Claire. At the time, I was in a habit of flirting with random ladies and I abandon everything thereafter. I didn’t take the explanation of how she got my number with serious precaution as she merely said “I bought a used phone and found your number saved in”.
Well, I arranged to meet her in Nansana over the weekend. On the agreed date, I parked my car along the slop of Nabweru road, facing Bwayise though It wasn’t the originally agreed upon place. I locked the car and left it on double indicators, moved a distance away and made a call to her for directions. I deceived her that I was sited inside but kept a good view from a distance.
Minutes later, a young, short girl dressed in a pale light blue dress and plastic slippers approached the vehicle. As she bent to look through the tinted glasses, I called Claire’s phone number and she picked. “I am seeing you, move up from the car, you will see me as you ascend”. We converged in the middle of the road and had a very brief interaction.
She looked 14-16 though she claimed she was 21. I did not want to waste time on a person that wasn’t appealing to my preferences. I took her for young girl who wanted mature men for survival. I then pushed my hand in the front pocket and gave her five thousand shillings for transport then rushed back to my vehicle and speed off.
Back to office on a Monday morning, I was in the compound interacting with one of my staff, Copal Rwabwogo when she called requesting for some airtime. I asked Copal Rwabwogo to go and buy it for me but she called again with a different story, asking for help of one hundred thousand shillings to top up her school fees which made me look bothered. Rwabwogo asked if I was interested in her and I said “no”. “Don’t give her anything, she will keep disturbing you”, he advised. I took his advice and ignored her calls till they faded off.
Towards my last days in Fort Portal, my covert girlfriend gave me the story in the face. We were only two in a car and she asked me of a young girl I met in the middle of the road in Nansana. It shocked me to learn that she knew the story and my whole movement plan for that day. But She kept telling me that “you are wise”. Claire was a trap which, if I had sent the money through her phone, it was going to be used as evidence for procuring abortion and defilement.
Her mother had received UGX4M to pin me and a case was already opened at a nearby police station. She revealed to me the whole orchestration and its architectures. It was going to be difficult for me to extricate myself from that trap and if I did, it was to leave an indelible blot on my image. It wasn’t out of my own wisdom that I survived, only if it is not your day…
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