Sunday, May 13, 2012

When Theives Come Knocking

It is a horrible prospect being robbed. I guess it is even worse when your house is broken into in the dead of the night when you are sound asleep.

Let’s call them Raymond and Susan. Raymond and Susan moved into a house in Naalya and seeing that it was a Friday, they took the day off from work. By the time they were done moving, it was 9:00pm. Though wacked they were still able to sum up enough energy to go out.

They hit Boda Boda and swung by Ange Noir. On the way home, they sailed through Just Kicking and Cayenne for a night cap and it was close to 4:00am when they got home.

When they walked into the house, they were greeted by a bare living room. Of course it would be a bare living room for they had just moved in and had yet to unpack.

But where were all the boxes of unpacked household items? The living room was bare as was the dining room and the bedrooms too. According to the police who turned up on Saturday afternoon to ‘investigate’, they implied that the couple were at fault for they had not unpacked.

“You made it easier for the goons. If you had unpacked before you went out, it would have been harder for them but, seeing everything was still in boxes, they parked their truck and loaded up” so the Affande is alleged to have told Raymond.

At least Raymond and his better half didn’t have to face Goons. Muloodi and his family were fast asleep with Goons struck and made off with his car while Henry didn’t even know he had been robbed until he came down for breakfast the following day.

When Goons came to my house, to be honest, I was shocked. It’s one of those things that I always heard in the checkout queue at Nakumatt, or overheard in the bank or via an e-mail that has been doing the rounds that by the time I scroll past two pages of address and got down to the message and realised I didn’t know the people who had been robbed, it was never my issue. In my theory, Goons don’t break into my house but into somebody else’s

It was a shade past 3:30am when I awoke and all thirsty. I lay in bed for a while before heading to the kitchen for a glass of juice but, as I passed the living room and peered in, something was not kosher.

The curtains had been pulled back and the windows wide open. And out on the veranda, there was somebody couched and who I assumed was House-ee. But what, would House-ee be doing out on the veranda at 3:30am and why, were the curtains drawn back and the windows wide open?

Looking round the living room, I noticed the Toshiba TV set was no longer there as was the DVD player and the surround system. The early morning sleep that was still in me vanished in a flash along with any thought of a glass of juice. Goons had broken in.

Funny thing was I was at a loss of what to do or shout out. What do I shout? Should it be in Luganda and along the lines of: “muyambe ababbi bayingidde” (help me, thieves have broken in) or, opt to shout in English. Perhaps I should have let out nddulu’s, as seems to be the norm? Pause for thought, I couldn’t figure out the English version of nddulu.

I wail the kyalo (the hood) up with “muyambe ababbi bayingidde” but with my customary tumbavu and backed it up with a stream of expletives that the censor board in Sunday Vision would have no doubt deleted. Going off topic, in one of my cowardly tales the censor board once tried to delete the word ‘pussy’. Yet we all know pussy is a young cat. Hmm, I wonder what they think pussy means!

Getting back, I startled Goon who, made for the fence where he suddenly stopped, swirled round and faced me with a menacing face. I too stopped and but instead of showing a menacing face, I squirmed. And then he made his utterances’, and they were utterances’ I will never forget.

Goon: “So we broke into your house but do you think there is any need for you to be making so much noise for the kyalo?”

With that, he was over the fence and had vanished into the shrubbery.

Was Goon on crack? He breaks into my crib and now has the guile to accuse me of being melodramatic and waking up the neighbours?! It is my house that he was breaking into and taking what was not his! Of course I had every right to be melodramatic! Not so?!

When the dust settled – well not exactly the dust but when my screams and expletives settled, the household was by now awake including some of the neighbours. It was time to assess the losses.

Goon hadn’t been working alone. He must have had two other Goons. What they had done is to pile everything by the fence and then ferry them over. There was everything from clothes, shoes, books and all. But crucially, the only thing they had managed to get over the fence was, Toshiba television set.

A few weeks ago, I was helping out at Club Silk’s Street Jam and manning one of the entrance gates. At Street Jam, album launches and concerts when it comes to money, I am very careful. I don’t go with big notes but low denomination notes like 1k and sh500 coins. And whenever I need to buy something, I take myself to a secluded spot, peel of the exact money I need and go buy whatever it is that I am going to buy.

That way, I minimise the risks of being pick pocketed because Goon has not seen which pocket I am getting the dime from. Now Robert is a security expert from South Africa and works for the security firm that provided security. Robert had his phone dangling off his belt – something that I warned him about.

But seeing that he knew he was a security expert from South Africa, I guess he knew best – until that is, he looked down and the phone was no longer there. Yeah Robert, you may be an expert back in South Africa, but here in Uganda, you are dealing with a different kind of Goon.

Getting back, whenever I required a drink, I would take and lock myself in the toilet, extract 3k, put the bundle away and head off to the bar.

It is a process that has always worked well for me and this time round, there was nothing to worry about. I made frequent trips to the bar and all was seemingly going well until at one point I went back to the washrooms to get dime and it was gone.

How they did it, I don’t know but they did get my dime. However, spare a thought for a chap who shares his first name with that of a Luganda FM station.

Hard to believe but, this is a true story. Our Chap had his dime safely tucked in the front pocket of his tight jeans and went on a night out on the town. However, and in the wee hours of the morning and after buying a drink in a popular Kabalagala night spot, Goon struck. I am not sure if it were the same goon who decided to do his shopping in my house, but using a sharp object, he cut a small slit just below the pocket of Our Chap’s jeans and made off with his dime.

And Our Chap did not feel or notice a thing until he went to buy another drink.

But I can’t end this week’s cowardly tale without and assurance of sorts so here is a message for Goon who stole my dime at Street Jam: The most you got out of me was 6k. However, the real dime was hidden in the elastic band lining of my underwear. I bet you didn’t think about that then did you? And I hope that if you used the 6k to buy muchomo, you not only chocked but got food poisoning too.

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