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Growing up with criminals inspired me to fight crime — Afande Kirumira
Publish Date: Feb 04, 2014
Growing up with criminals inspired  me to fight crime — Afande Kirumira
Kirumira does not believe in property accumulation. Photo by Benjamin Sebaggala
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The name Kirumira is a scare to many thugs.  He has fought criminals in Kisaasi, Kyanja, Nakulabye, Bwaise, Katanga and now Nansana. But who is this Kirumira who sends criminals scampering? Christopher Bendana had a chat with him

 
Despite being a Muslim, Mohammad Kirumira, the officer-in-charge of Nansana Police post, draws his guiding principles from the Bible. Determination, persistence and honesty are some of the virtues that guide Kirumira in his Police work.
 
This no-nonsense policeman has built a reputation as a brave and honest officer, who rids areas where he is deployed of criminals. 
 
From Blue Room on Namirembe Road, to Kyanja in Nakawa and now Nansana, residents are all praise for him. 
 
Frank Magara, a resident of Nansana who was at Kirumira’s office, said: “I am here to thank you for the good work you did in Kyanja. Although there are still challenges, you did a great job. You are, indeed, God’s gift to us.” 
 
Before long, an elderly woman, Sanyu Nakiitto, a resident of Gganda, Nansana, was also singing the same praises.
“Webale omulimu (thank you for the work),” she said.
 
Kirumira says people come from as far as Mbale in the east and Dodoma in Tanzania to see him.
 
He says he draws inspiration from the Bible, especially from the book of Job, who, because of his belief and trust in God, received rewards in terms of life and wealth, despite the devil wanting to destroy him. He argues that even when Job’s life and wealth were gone, his name still lived on.
 
He quotes Psalm 23:1-6, saying, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….God is my protector.” He says that is what motivates him.
 
“Life is given by only God. Property accumulation has no positive impact on man,” he argues. 
 
“During the course of his work, man can get property without using crude means. Look at me, people buy me clothes and pay fees for my children. Somebody donated this car to me. There is no way I can move with a barracks to guard me,” he explains. 
 
Born in Rubaga Hospital in 1983, Kirumira spent most of his childhood in Katwe, near the Clock Tower, where his home was. As a teenager, he collected scrap with others from Jubilee Park and sold it to Musa Body, a renowned craftsman in Katwe.
 
When there was no scrap, the teenagers, especially those who did not go to school, stole scrap from people’s homes. 
Worried about his son growing up in a slum, Kirumira’s father relocated to Mpambire, Mawokota, in Mpigi district.
 
According to Kirumira, living in Katwe exposed him to the working of criminals, which motivated him to fight crime. In school, he was more interested in subjects that could rid society of evil. 
 
At university, he wanted to pursue law or media studies and when he was not admitted for those courses, he gave up his government-sponsored Social Sciences slot at Makerere University, opting for a diploma in Education at Nkozi National Teachers’ Training College. 
 
He graduated with a first class diploma in 2004, which assured him of a slot at Kyambogo University for a degree in education.
 
How he entered Police 
However, Kirumira did not proceed to Kyambogo because he wanted to work and earn a living. And while he was working as a teacher in Bulenga on Mityana Road, Kirumira had a change of mind.  
 
He says thugs were terrorising residents and he felt he could do something to curb crime in the area. 
 
Consequently, he approached the officer-in-charge of the area and requested him to recruit him into the force. The officer informed him of an upcoming recruitment exercise the following month. He applied and was listed among the 15 candidates, out of the 500 applicants. The training started in January 2005. 
 
Deployment
Since completing his training, Kirumira has worked in Kagadi, Kaliro, Kampala Central Police Station, Blue Room, Nakulabye, Kimombasa in Bwaise, Kyanja, Kisaasi, Katanga and now Nansana. From a constable in 2005, he is now an Assistant Inspector of Police. This would usually take 20 years, but he says he achieved it in five. 
 
Of all the areas he has worked, he singles out Nakulabye as the most difficult, saying most of the residents are criminals. Asked about how he handles the stress that comes with Police work, Kirumira says: “I humble myself before God.
 
I live my life on principle, so I am result-oriented. Criminals always call, threatening me, but I ignore them,” he reveals.
 
People who have inspired him
He says Inspector Derrick, which used to air on Sanyu Television in the 1990s, was his inspiration. “He was intelligent and focused,” he reminisces.
 
Another is the Kampala Metropolitan boss, Felix Kaweesi, and the IGP, Kale Kayihura.
“I learnt from the IGP to live a restless life. I sleep for only two hours, from 3:00am to 5:00am. Call the IGP at 3:00am and he will answer at the first beep. He is always alert,” Kirumira reveals.
 
From Kaweesi, he received academic training when the former was the in-charge of academics at Masindi Police Training School. “He does not tolerate mistakes that cannot be explained,” Kirumira says. 
 
Police in society
He believes the Police Force should invest more in community interaction. “Policing is not all about training. It’s also about understanding society. I do a lot of community interaction,” Kirumira says.
 
He says he invests a lot in minority groups, including children and the elderly. 
 
He says he has invested a lot in community policing
 
Private life
One would think Kirumira lives a solitary life, away from the thugs he apprehends. He has been married since 2007 and the couple has two children. 
 
“My wife does not regret marrying me because she knows God had a reason why he chose her for me,” he says.
Kirumira says pupils call his daughter “Police” at school. “They think of the principle of “like father like daughter.”
 
Once in a while, he says he goes to Kalangala for vacation with his family and switches off his phone. His favourite movie is Rules of Engagement and he enjoys Lingala music, his favourite being Blessuer.

Lows in the force
Like other officers, Kirumira has also had his lows in the force, such as when he was taken to Masindi in 2009 for a refresher course and later posted to Kaliro for reasons he considers unfair. 
“God was testing my determination,” he says. 
 
His dream is to go for further training so that he can deal with sophisticated cases, including cyber crime.

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