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Uganda:Even my wedding ring was taken- MP narrates robbery ordeal in South Africa hotel
Published on 4-09-2016 - at 00:14' by Daily Monitor

For Oyam Woman MP Sandra Santa Alum, the closest she had ever brushed with the Grim Reaper was hearing alarm bells warning that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels were in the vicinity, a clarion call that would see her flee for dear life.

For Oyam Woman MP Sandra Santa Alum, the closest she had ever brushed with the Grim Reaper was hearing alarm bells warning that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels were in the vicinity, a clarion call that would see her flee for dear life.

That was until the evening of Thursday, August 25 at KariBou-Inn Guest House, Johannesburg, South Africa, when she was put at gunpoint by a bulky man, confronting death face–to-face.
Ms Alum had travelled with three MPs and four Parliament staff to South Africa for a bench-marking study on a farm with the Agriculture committee, when they were attacked just as they made way into the hotel.

The surprise attack

“We would expect them [the LRA rebels]. We would hear that the rebels are coming and we would start running. But this was unexpected. I had never been put at gun-point,” a distraught Alum narrates.
The ride from the airport to the KariBou-Inn Guest House was largely uneventful, save for a 10-minute wait for the driver who had been booked by the committee. But hell broke loose just as they were disembarking from the car. The delay by the driver, which seemed innocuous at the time, is now suspicious.

“When we reached the hotel, no sooner had we opened the doors than the driver was like: You people, close your eyes, raise your arms [or] they will kill you. These men started taking whatever they wanted,” Ms Alum recounts.

The armed men then helped themselves with most of the personal effects of the delegation; bags, passports, documents, name it. Her bag had 20.000 South African Rands (about Shs4.7 million).

Other MPs on the delegation were Mr Francis Barnabas Gonahasa (Kabweri County), Mr Kenneth Esiangu Eitunganane (Soroti County) and Mr Robert Ndugwa Migadde (Buvuma County). But Ms Alum had remained with one valuable; her wedding ring. It was regrettably still ringed on her fingers, triggering the wrath of one of the gangsters. That’s the last time she saw her wedding ring.

“When he saw the ring after picking my bag, I rested my arms on my laps. He said: bring bring, they grabbed. They took even the wedding ring,” Ms Alum says, gesticulating how the ring was removed from her finger.

With most of the MPs robbed of the phones, staff that had somehow managed to keep their phones from the robbers reached out to the Ugandan Embassy that helped in processing travel documents for them to head back to Uganda.

MP Migadde, the vice chairperson of the Agriculture Committee, will make a personal statement on the matter in the House.

The background

The lawmakers were headed to Durban, about 630km away from Johannesburg, to visit the Amandla Fertiliser production facility and Parliament picked all their bills.
A source that declined to be named due to sensitivity of the matter claimed that the lawmakers likely picked the guest house because accommodation there is relatively cheaper and would enable them save money.
An MP gets $520 (Shs1.7 million) as daily allowance when on foreign trips. Rooms at the guest house on average cost about Shs150,000-300,000.


Kwamamaza
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