Skip to content

Holiday Crime in Downtown Kampala? Not This Year, Shopkeepers Say

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Edna Namara Reporter (Global Press News)
1/4/2019 (2 weeks ago)
Catholic Online (

Stella Wanichani and Vivian Lalobo run a stall selling fresh food in St. Balikuddembe Market, a major shopping area in this sometimes-chaotic capital.


KAMPALA, UGANDA - " The women left their stall for three days this holiday season, to travel to their home villages for Christmas. When they returned, their stock was intact.

That discovery might have been surprising in years past, but police and military officers patrolled the city's busiest shopping districts this year. Shopkeepers say that those officers successfully thwarted the type of crime that had plagued market areas each and every holiday season for as long as many people cared to remember.

"I am so grateful to the police patrol," Lalobo says.

It's not entirely the police, though, who ensured that the two women's stock was safe while they were gone. These days, traders pay 1,000 Ugandan shillings (27 cents) each month to what Wanichani calls a "local vigilante group."

"Given the good work they did, these night guards deserve the money we give them," she says.

Still, Uganda's police agency, which partners with the military to secure the city, is quick to take all the credit.

"The town business center is well-supervised by police and army to ensure safety," Uganda Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigyire says.

No matter the source of the shopping district's security, shop owners say their experience around the holidays is different " and better " this year. (Read our story about pre-holiday policing here.)

Mary Tukahirwa sells nuts, millet flour and grains in a market area downtown. On Christmas Eve, when this city was gripped by the spell cast by holiday lights and the booming crescendo of Christmas carols, she planned to leave early the next morning to visit her family's home village. In other years, a shuttered storefront in this city acted as an "Open" sign for thieves, especially on holidays, when everyone seems to shut down businesses.

The market areas have been so secure this year that Tukahirwa is not worried about whether she'll be robbed, she says.

Abdul Nasser, the owner of a lighting equipment shop, says he took a holiday break and returned to find his stock intact.

"This was no surprise," he says, adding that he credits local police efforts, as well as strong security in the arcade where he has his business.

Edward Lwanga says his interior décor shop is monitored by security cameras that he can view on his phone.

"I was quite sure nothing would happen, although one cannot rule out any eventuality," he says.

But Lwanga left his shop over the holiday with confidence, he adds, because local police have created a sense of calm throughout the area.

"This is the time that gives me a breather in life," he says.

Your Prayer Requests 'LIVE'


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary.
That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.


More Asia Pacific

Duterte open to dialogue with bishops after suggesting Filipinos kill them Watch

Image of

 A government spokesman said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is open to dialogue with the country's bishops, after the president ... continue reading

Venezuelan bishops denounce Maduro's new presidential term as illegitimate Watch

Image of

The bishops of Venezuela have said that Nicolas Maduro's swearing in for a second term as president Thursday is illegitimate. Caracas, ... continue reading

What is it like to be a missionary in Mongolia? Watch

Image of

When Francisco Javier Olivera was born, his mother offered him to the Virgin Mary, praying that he would become a missionary in Asia. ... continue reading

Human rights court to hear case of Belgian euthanasia for depression Watch

Image of

The European Court of Human Rights has announced that it will take up a case considering whether Belgium wrongly allowed a woman to be ... continue reading

As Belgium bans kosher and halal food prep, religious freedom fears grow Watch

Image of

Jews and Muslims in Belgium could face difficulty finding food prepared according to their religious rules, as new animal slaughter ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.