Communities have to be knowledgeable with high self esteem
By Emilian Kayima
A few weeks ago, our media carried stories of how the local police in Kibuye, Makindye, Kisenyi, Nsambya and some of the suburbs in Kampala was engaging criminals in a bid to interest them to live responsible lifestyles through persuasion rather than prosecution.
The Uganda Police had chosen to do it differently but many readers castigated the Police preferring tougher action, instead of fighting crime with what they referred to as “kid groves”.
Many of these rogues blamed it on poverty and lack of employment. They said they have no means of survival.
So, you wonder whether the Police can solely address that gap or whether it is a question calling for collective effort.
We must all strive to understand crime dynamics and think of appropriate intervention mechanisms, starting at individual and family level.
The question of who should address this gap was answered last Friday, May 20, when we gathered at Sheraton Hotel to commemorate 10 years of dedicated service by Rahab Uganda, a local NGO that have a home in Kyankima, Kasangati in Wakiso district that has accomplished so much in fighting crime effectively and differently by promoting love.
Their executive director, Annette Kirabira and her team are an invaluable team of tough yet lovely ladies who have proved that “what men can do, women can do even better”.
The team at Rahab Uganda have rescued a number of girls from the evil hands of their exploiters; abusive parents, human traffickers, bars where they are sex slaves, streets where they do prostitution and brothels littered all over our suburbs.
These are girls as young as 12 years and have seen and experienced all the hate, all the malice and exploitation there is in this world. These girls eventually learn bad habits too in order to survive.
They only look at survival at all costs and that is very dangerous to them and those around them!
The Rahab Uganda team chose to focus on the girl child and there are no words to thank them for a job well done. They have partnered with virtually everybody including individuals, corporate organisations and government bodies like the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the fight against these crimes.
For example, the National Task Force against trafficking in human persons and ritual murders often shares information and mechanisms of rescuing these girls trapped in slavery and servitude here and abroad.
They touch hearts and minds; have transformed lives through trainings that empower these girls, changing them into better adjusted persons with skills and knowledge.
“The king’s daughters” as they are known at Rahab Uganda have now known love, given up on crime and risky behaviour. They are no longer as vulnerable as they were. They have hope and are enterprising. They are courageous, playful, prayerful and lovely.
Ten years were worth celebrating. They pointed to the fact that in fighting crime, we may not use one method. It might never be playing tough to your own children and those under your care. It might never be the role of the Police alone. We need a critical mass of people who say “no” to crime.
Communities have to be knowledgeable with high self esteem, those that know what to do and where to go in case crime occurs. By that, we can dream of a society that is largely enlightened and focused and a society that is not compromising.
The cry for absent parents to come home is loud out there, a recipe for trouble. We all crave love in our homes, families, work places and communities. It feels lovely to be loved and it is a remedy to many things that drive many into crimes.
Otherwise, why would we have many children on streets as beggars and prostitutes? Why would we have prostitutes on our streets, in bars, hotels and lodges and brothels? There is a problem home!
All along, I kept thinking about the many girls and boys out there who have not got this opportunity to be rescued.
Before we plan on going for those out there, can we work on retaining the ones we have in our homes, our schools and communities before we lose them into the many criminal cartels like the infamous kifeesi and other gangs out there?
Lastly, Rahab Uganda, “a symbol of transformation” went a notch higher and got the girls a father figure, a unique man indeed. He is our Commander Defence Forces (CDF), Gen. Katumba Wamala.
Fathers, can we please play our roles effectively? Absent parents, broken families and poverty are critical areas worth addressing. What is your role in this fight against crime?
The writer is a senior Police officer