Jet-Li-like jumping round-kicks waiting for us out there, police intervene

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Jet-Li-like jumping round-kicks waiting for us out there, police intervene
Michael Woira

By Michael Woira

I have always loved action-packed movies, especially those starring Jet Li or Jackie Chan. As a kid, I believed that such intense action scenes were only for the screen and didn’t happen in real life.

That changed one evening during my usual fitness walk near a police station.

A taxi stopped nearby, and to my surprise, over 13 boys got out. I initially thought they were just passengers.

However, they quickly surrounded me and a woman who was walking nearby, demanding for money. Before I could even respond, one of them landed a flying sidekick on my back.

Instinctively, I fought back, channeling my inner Jet Li. I managed to kick one of the boys as another had

already grabbed the woman’s bag and phone, knocking her down.

Thankfully, I stayed on my feet, and when they saw me defending myself, they panicked and ran away. Their taxi returned, they jumped back in, and sped off. I’m grateful I could defend myself, but it was a shocking reminder that sometimes, life can be just as intense as the movies.

I was left panting and thanking God that nothing serious happened to me. Apart from a weak kick I received, I had no injuries or wounds. However, the lady was hurt badly.

Shockingly, all this took place right in front of a nearby police post, a petrol station with security guards, shops, many bystanders, and near a boda boda stage. Yet, no one came to help.

What have we become? Inhuman? Ruthless? Is there a deeper problem that needs God’s intervention? How can people just stand by and watch as someone is being beaten or tortured by hooligans? How can they just look on and do nothing?

I have seen several videos trending where thugs are torturing people in broad daylight, surrounded by crowds, but no one intervenes. In one video, I saw thugs robbing someone at the Jinja Road traffic lights.

There was a lot of traffic, cars parked, and many people around, yet the thugs tortured their victim and fled with a bag of money, all in broad daylight. How can this happen with so many witnesses around?

Just this month, we have seen several videos trending where thugs are using taekwondo moves, like the famous round-kick, to knock their victims unconscious. These videos have psychologically tortured me, and I keep thinking about what I would do if this happened to me.

We need to stop pretending that we are very safe and start helping those who are being tortured by thugs on the streets. If these attacks are happening in broad daylight, on streets with cameras and lights, imagine what happens in places without cameras, especially in the suburbs of Kampala.

I can’t blame the security forces entirely, because they can’t be everywhere at once, and the ratio of police officers to the public is likely insufficient for various reasons.

However, we all share the responsibility for ensuring that such crimes decrease.

First and foremost, we are each responsible for our own safety. Yet, this responsibility also lies with our

security agencies and village security committees.

Additionally, I think we’re missing a crucial element, the Local Defense Unit (LDU). It would be wise to bring back the LDU, as we need them now more than ever to ensure our safety.

Otherwise, these streets remain very frightening.

When you get on a boda boda, you pray it delivers you safely because it’s hard to trust them. Taxis are also a concern these days because anything can happen; the drivers and conductors can’t be trusted.

Anyone who knows how to drive and can collect money from passengers can become a boda boda rider or a taxi driver. Those who have ever carried bags with laptops and reached home to find only stones inside know exactly what I mean.

Now, back to the issue of safety: how can we address this problem that has become so rampant not only

in Kampala but also in Mbale, Jinja, and many other town centers?

As a country, we should start holding

those who commit crimes accountable for their actions and prosecute them. We need to stop pampering criminals.

How can a criminal also have human rights after killing someone? It Is absurd to pamper them and claim it Is their right not to be punished.

There is a price to pay for criminal behavior—make them pay it. Hold judges accountable. The practice of criminals being arrested and then back on the streets in a month needs to stop.

If courts are serving the interests of criminals rather than the citizens, then we need to know. Our leaders in the various areas where we live must also be held accountable. It’s time to take a firm stand against crime and

ensure that justice is served.

Parents parents, please teach your kids how to behave properly in society because these thugs are your kids. For several generations, parents have been failing their children and then wonder why their kids get into trouble.

Many blame the police when their kids are arrested, but if you’re told that your child committed a crime, why defend them? We should focus on raising our children the right way, rather than saying, “Oyo omwana yanema” (“We failed to tame that kid”), as many parents do.

Lets take responsibility for our children's upbringing to prevent them from becoming future criminals.

One of those reading this might conclude, “You know, people are poor; that’s why we have thugs

committing such crimes.”

The idea that poverty causes crime is utter nonsense. If everyone who was broke started stealing, then everyone would be a thug because many people are short on money.

The phrase “Silinamu yadde ekikumi” (“I don’t even have a single 100 shilling coin”) is common everywhere.

Let’s become human again and help those in danger.

Solidarity doesn’t hurt. When there is danger in the neighborhood, please help. Being poor is not an excuse for crime, and it’s crucial that we support one another and uphold our shared values.

Security should also improve or increase its deployments. Often, you find many officers in places that are not risky, while the high-risk areas are left with little to no security.

In my area, the police station doesn’t even have a bicycle, and the entire team consists of fewer than four officers, yet they are responsible for a very large area.

I hope the police leadership addresses this issue. I hope I’m not giving criminals any ideas about my area.

Bye for now.

Michael Woira is a patriotic Ugandan

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