An unsuspecting Mirembe, attached to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), lost her HTC smart phone three months ago at the old taxi park near Mega Supermarket when she gave it to one Richard Bwanika to make an emergency call.
“A smartly dressed guy politely asked me to lend him my phone saying he had run out of battery, only to disappear with my phone,” recalls Mirembe.
Unaware that Bwanika was one of Kampala’s smart thieves who employ such tactics, she didn’t keep her eye on her phone and Bwanika pretended he was looking for better network coverage, only to runaway with the trendy gadget.
This week however, luck run out for Bwanika, who claims to be a resident of Church zone LC1 in Nateete. When Mirembe was crossing the road, near her workplace at UBC, she spotted Bwanika across the road apparently smartly dressed with a neck tie.
Confused as to what to do with the thief, she tried to approach him. Bwanika had not recognised her immediately because she put on shades but when she tried to get closer, his thieving sense alerted him. He crossed in the opposite direction and tried to run away on a boda boda.
“He immediately crossed the road and stopped a boda boda while telling the rider to ride very fast. I also jumped onto a boda boda and begun chasing. After a few metres I started yelling thief, thief.”
With the help of other boda boda riders, the chase ended with Bwanika getting arrested around the National Theater. Had it not been the nearby police officers who responded in earnest, Bwanika would probably be in hell now as the rowdy boda boda riders almost lynched him.
But thieves and their endless tricks could be another factor as to why Bwanika escaped. Amidst the chaotic milieu, Bwanika told his arresters that Mirembe was his girlfriend, a way to confuse the crowd that perhaps the duo had a domestic dispute.
Mirembe insisted she was a victim of theft. Sitting on the floor and shoes removed, Bwanika admitted that he indeed took Mirembe’s phone.
An angry Mirembe demanded that Bwanika returns her smart phone valued at Ushs 1.3m in addition to Ushs 500,000 that had been sent to her through mobile money for paying tuition.
With shoes removed and facing the wrath of boda boda riders, Bwanika arrogantly explained however that while he was willing to compensate her for the full value of the phone to settle matters outside court, he was only doing it out of courtesy because ‘she gave him the phone willingly’.
Sitting on the floor with shoes and belt removed, Bwanika made repeated calls to friends to rescue him. The Sunrise understands that Bwanika was released after his pals brought the money.