Well done. You finally have all our attention. I do not think you set out to get everyone’s attention when you chose to reign terror and send chills down the spine of all Ugandans. We cannot help but watch our backs now as we look out for your next act of terror all in the name of a heist.

Some of you may not get the chance to read this note because you’re already behind bars at the time of writing but the forces behind your lawlessness will, hopefully, get the message across. Most of you may not even have a grasp of the language in which it comes but from the confessions of your colleagues paraded before press by Police, the forces behind your terror are resourceful, surely, their resources cannot be limited to no grasp of the Queen’s language. They will get this message to you.

For years we have lost our dearly earned and beloved property to your thrifty hands. We have sometimes lost a few teeth, when we resisted to be mugged. That has gone with our scar-free bodies. We have since lost our naivety and innocence in the dusty city that is Kampala. You have taught us well, Kampala si bizimbe.

We now know which paths we must not follow when the sun goes to sleep. We know better not to fall for amateurish fraudsters. We have since developed a fear for crowds. We choose to stay away from concerts and mammoth crowd gatherings. If we must come out and enjoy ourselves, we choose to leave behind our hard earned phones. You have officially robbed us of the freedom to take selfies at concerts and pull out our phones to finger away, one chat after another, on social media during traffic jam. We now know better and at least take precaution not to fall prey to your laziness. You have beaten many of us one too many times, we are obviously twice shy, today.

Unfortunately, you have also upped your ante. You left the old tricks to 2016. You have reinvented yourselves because you must hustle us if you’re to survive. Unfortunately for us, we are not simply going to lose phones to you today, we are going to lose phones and hard-earned sim-cards. By now, you know it costs an arm and a leg for one to own the smartphones which you so love to nick out of our absentminded hands.

Worse still, it costs a painstaking effort to have those phones on air. One must have registered (and re-registered) that sim-card in the phone you leisurely snatched. Before that, he/she must have spent a few handsome hours in a cue; in an effort to acquire a national I.D without which that sim-card couldn’t have been registered.

Would you be so kind to invoke a new code of conduct in your mode of operation? If you must rob us of our gadgets, do you mind limiting the inconvenience to only taking the handset but not the sim-card? It is a lot easier for us to replace these gadgets than to replace a sim-card and national I.D. If you must steal, do you mind leaving documented properties out of your heist?

When you snatch a purse or handbag, chances are high there is a passport or national I.D. Now, unless you’re planning on exporting your lawlessness to outside countries, I do not see your need for our documentation. I suggest you always hand in the documentation material, which involuntary come along with your heists, to the forces fuelling your lawlessness. It is said they are well connected. They will, in the very least (hopefully), handover our documentation to the police as lost and found property.

Or even better, open up viewing centres for the documents of your victims. You needn’t announce that such and such a place is your designated viewing centre for the documents of your victims. Simply make a habit of dumping the documents in one place, in every township. Word will get out to the public that those who have lost their documents in a heist can try your unheralded dumpsite, for quick recovery their lost documents.

Your livelihood thrives on our well-being. It is only in your interest if you make it easier for us to prosper so that you can, in return, thrive. Look at it this way, if I lose my empty wallet to one of you but recover my National I.D, work I.D and business cards that are therein from one of your future dumpsites, I’m better placed to get on with my daily life. Perhaps, the next time the thrifty fingers of anyone of you get a hold of my wallet, it will have some money. But without my I.Ds, I will see no need of acquiring another wallet in which to keep my plastic documents. You in return, will have no wallet to steal.

Your prosperity can only thrive if we your victims prosper. But for us to do that, you must change your mode of operation. Find an ingenious way to return our documents just like you find a way around unlawfully getting them into your hands.

Go forth yee thieves and be so kind to we your disturbed victims.

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