By Mildred Apenyo
Strap on your armour and hide your children for goodness is under attack! But you already knew that. You do live in the world after all. What I am saying is that con men in Kampala have taken the war against goodness to a level that is indecent and unacceptable. Let me explain.
My sister is one of those people who attend all lectures, return every missed call and have not yet lost their religion. She has not a bone of cynicism in her body and last Sunday, that cost her money.
A distraught person rang her, saying they had sent sh1m to her mobile money account. I was in the room at the time apologising for finishing her data bundle, so when I heard her speaking in halting Luganda, I was intrigued.
I will be the first to admit that I am opportunistic. I told her to tell the guy, who called himself Tom Bwire, that she would only give him the money if he bought her an internet bundle. She quickly brushed that suggestion aside. “Mildred, the person was crying! I don’t want this salty money. I must give it back!” I questioned her loyalty. Who would buy her spontaneous lunches and pay for fun sisterly activities? Me! What did I need to make money at that moment? A bundle! Anyway.
The man continued to call and certain things still annoy me from their conversations. He was pushy. He wanted her to leave home immediately to “return” his money.
The sun was blazing and she was in the middle of something, so I told her to text him, saying she would do it later. Get this. He called back whining, asking if she was the same person he had spoken to before. He was basically saying: “Where is the pliable little girl I spoke to earlier? This doesn’t sound like her.” Ugh. I would have said: “Well tough luck. Delicious male tears.” But she simply re-assured him.
All the while, my brothers were dreaming up all the ways that we could spend that money, calculating its worth in video games, shoes and kilogrammes of pork. This did not even scratch my sister’s determination to help this cad.
The second thing that irritates me is that he fooled her. He preyed on her kindness and naivety. He requested that when she got to the mobile money shop she was not to divulge that she had the money on her mobile money account until it was sent. She was already on her way when he made this request.
These conmen call back after the victim has confirmed that they are on their way to a mobile money agent, knowing that they are isolated and have nobody to bounce ideas off.
Not even the mobile money agent could have helped derail this crime as he knows our family and would not think twice when instructed to send money.
Thirdly, this man continued to smugly take her calls even at the point when she was sending him text messages detailing exactly how she hoped that maggots in his latrine would eat his eyeballs out. He just continued asking her to send the balance. We eventually registered the case with the Police and are still wrapping our minds around this con.
The Police describe these people as senior thieves who not usually caught, in turn make most people give up, allowing them to get away with their crimes.
They deserve all of the complicated pains that time is going to place in their paths.
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A new con is among us