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Festive season and elections manoeuvre – a security and safety perspective

NO TIME FOR FUN THIS YEAR: Uganda Police Force officials led by  SSP Emillian Kayima enjoying a dance with Police officers’ children during their Christmas party at Police headquarters Naguru in 2018. Police is going to have a busier Christmas this year because of elections and COVID-19.


COMMENT | Samson Tinka |  The political temperatures are now close to boiling point. Traditionally December comes with hype of everything. A lot of activities are associated with the last quarter of the year, though December happens to be the climax.

This December however is a special one in all ways. Three things have come in to play namely, Christmas, elections and Covid19. The last two are not easy to deal with. They are associated with uncertainties, worry, caution, expenses, and many other challenges.

The business community usually makes a killing during this time – arcades, shopping malls, supermarkets, bread shops are busy either stocking, selling, or replenishing stock. Clients hopefully also budget early on what to spend on. When businesses are busy everything automatically becomes busy. The transport sector, URA, UNBS and other agencies double the efforts to serve their clientele.

Often, such a busy environment usually leads to safety and security space becoming compromised. Covid19 and elections have since stretched security agencies to the limit. The bad guys are not seated.

For them its business as usual. Me and you are already targets for their criminal activities including but not limited to, theft, mugging, car break-ins, bags snatching, selling of counterfeit products, display and selling of expired goods, robberies, road accidents, violation of traffic rules and regulations, drink and driving, over eating leading to food poisoning, kidnapping among other ‘crimes’.

As a communities and individuals, we ought to know and remember that these bad guys are activating their bad plans and we can only outsmart them if we remain alert and steady, help police, report any suspicious object or movements.

Below I share tips on how we can maneuver through this period of Dec 2020 and January 2021.

✳ Follow MOH SOPs

One thing that is known by everyone now is that covid19 has virtually surrounded us. At this point at least everyone has either lost a relative, friend, friend of a friend, a neighbour, OB/OG, or at least has seen or a death announcement of departed Ugandan due to covid19. Community infections have gone over the roof and now any person can be a potential patient or carrier of this diseases. Our children, elderly people are exposed more than never before. The cost of treatment is high. The cost of time spent home either in isolation or self-treatment is not low either. The possibility of missing Christmas festive if one contracted this disease is real but also the possibility on not crossing this year is much real. Simply adhere to MOH and presidential directives if you want to see another day.

✳ Home safety/security

For those intending to travel upcountry (though not advised) endeavour to leave a person at home. These criminals will sweep your house clean. People that rob us stay within our communities. They follow and monitor our movements. They will immediately detect our absence and long story will begin. Ensure that security lights are working, gates firmly locked, neighbours notified of your absence that they can keep watch.

✳ Hire private security guard

On an average an armed guard costs 550,000 per month per 12 hour shift. This is normally small monies compared to valuables in the house/home. It’s advisable that such services are acquired if whole family is going to be away or else you risk finding a shell house on return.

✳ Plan the journey in advance.

Planning the journey helps in determining which route, what time to leave, servicing of cars in advance, packing everything needed including first aid kits that should have pain killers, bandage, etc. it also helps the driver to rest enough before setting off the journey. It’s advisable that the driver takes a 5 minutes rest every after 2 hours of drive.

✳ Shop in time and from gazetted areas

Last minute shopping is not good. The possibility of buying expired goods, adultetred products and paying much higher than the market price becomes real. All of us knew by January that there will be x-mas in Dec. what stops us from buying things early enough? It’s a bad practice of wanting to do shopping at the last minute. Only fresh and perishables should be bought on the last days.

✳ Follow your instincts

Most times our bodies and minds warn us in advance. It’s important that we follow our hearts to make decisions. Irrational decision making can be fatal and regrettable.

✳ Follow road signs and traffic rules and regulations.

Cases of over speeding, phone talking while driving, over loading, driving on shoulders of the roads are common during this period especially the last week of December. Traffic officers are alert and are aware of this. Two things may happen, driver being arrested until end of x-mas or causing accidents that may be fatal. Let’s follow road signs to dot. Christmas is not end of the world and we can always reach in peace not in pieces.

✳ Elections craze

Until we understand that there is life after January 14th 2021, we remain prisoners our own conscience. Until we realize that our families, friend’s relatives need us beyond January, we are heading nowhere, until we realize that there is one winner, we are getting the puzzle wrong. Until we notice that me nad you have one vote, our logic and common sense is still wanting. Let’s practice elections of maturity, respect and orderliness. These politicians will forget us immediately after 14th but our families will feel the impact of our careless, irresponsible participation in these elections.

Finally, the scare of covid19 is real. This disease can wipe out humanity. Apart from death and sickness being the direct consequences of this disease, the world economies are limping. We may go past recession of 2007/8. The world may need more than 1o years to recover from 2020 covid19 attack. If this diseases is not controlled in 2021, its overall impact may be worse than 2nd world war. Businesses are almost closing shop some have already filed for bankruptcy especially in Europe and USA. Government are on their knees. They can barely meet their obligations. Kindly follow MOH SOPs to dot. Don’t say I never warned you. We can celebrate 2021 X-mas in peace. Let’s count 2020 a year that never existed.

To me personally, it’s a year I will live to remember because it went with my father.

Enos B Tinka keep resting in peace!


 Samson Tinka is a safety and security expert.




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