Uganda sanitary pad war takes on a new twist
Thugs have strangled a security guard and broken into offices of two non-governmental organisations and a firm in a Kampala suburb, taking several office equipment and merchandise.
“We came in this morning and found our offices broken into by people we do not know. They have taken two laptops, a desktop, a scanner and several boxes of sanitary pads. They also broke into the safe, making off with some money,” Ms Lucy Athieno, the chief executive officer of Eco Pad, told journalists on Monday.
To make matters worse they went ahead and even killed our security guard, Ms Athieno noted. She only identified the guard as Sam who had his legs and hands tied with a rope and his mouth stuffed with sanitary pads to choke him.
The premises in the Ministers’ Village in Ntinda, a city suburb, also housed the offices of Mifumi and Kadama Widows Association, both organisations working on mainly women rights issues.
Police recorded statements of the workers and later took the body to Mulago Hospital for post-mortem.
Last year, thugs also broke into Mifumi Office twice, stealing similar property after sedating security guards.
“Unlike this time when our guard has been killed, the last two times we found them asleep,” she added.
Ms Athieno said they have beefed up security to ensure that they do not fall victims again.
Since 2013 past, there has been increasing cases at burglaries at offices of NGOs, particularly those working on human rights issues, both in the capital Kampala and upcountry. The attackers target specific computers and data storage facilities and cash. In almost all cases, police have failed to trace the suspects, including when they were given a CCTV footage clearly showing faces of the intruders.
Mifumi gained fame as an NGO when it launched a spirited campaign, including a court petition, to have bride price scrapped. It argued that bride price enslaves women to their husbands who consider them as personal property.