Thursday, July 15, 2010


(An old Monitor FM broadcast and Focus column)

Have you heard the latest news? A Mbale trader, Samson Wesonga was ambushed by 6 thugs on the Jinja – Kampala Road on Friday, 11 August. The ambush took place at mid-day with in the Mabira forest. According to Wesonga, the thugs had placed a tree across the road, and when he slowed down to stop, they way laid him at gunpoint. Then they beat him severely, stripped him naked, and left him for dead.

The thugs took Wesonga’s Nissan pickup, 10 boxes of Blue Band, 5 boxes of Kimbo shortening, 300 kilos of posho, and 2.6 million Uganda shillings.

Wesonga came in and out of consciousness several times until his rescue, and reported several travelers who stopped to observe his condition.

The first was Jim Bob Allister, missionary for the Evangelical Missions Alliance. Allister was driving a Toyota Hi-Lux pick-up.

“I thought I was saved,” reported Wesonga. “Everyone knows Bazungu have lots of money, and are such kind people. The Muzungu greeted me with ‘Jambo, rafiki. Habari?’ When I tried to explain my condition in Kiswahili he called his translator. Then I heard him say ‘Time is money. I have an important meeting with our mission board, and can not be late.’ Then he drove off.

The next to stop was Apostle Bernard Okidi with the Divine Church of Deliverance and Healing. Okidi was traveling in a Toyota Hi-Ace with a group of Christians going to attend a crusade.

Wesonga reports, “Again, I thought I was saved. Surely, a group of Balokole would help me. They are the chosen people of God.”

Again Wesonga was disappointed. Okidi reportedly called for God to heal Wesonga. When there was apparently no response from God Okidi remarked, “Brother, you do not have enough faith to be healed. I must wipe the dust off of my feet from you, and move on to our crusade where people do have the faith to be healed.”

The next time Wesonga awoke there was a leader from one of Uganda’s traditional churches.

“I was too delirious to get this man’s details,” reported Wesonga. “All I can remember is robes and religious babble. As he drove off in his Pajero I heard him say, ‘We don’t know who this man is. He could be a rebel or escaped prisoner. We can not jeopardize our good standing by getting involved with this type of man.’”

Finally, Somali transporter, Abdu Mohamed, rescued Wesonga. Mohamed was driving a Shell Petrol lorry.

“I didn’t know what to expect when the Somali pulled over to the side of the road,” reported Wesonga. “I was too weak and tired to be scared. I thought maybe he was an angel coming to take me to heaven.”

Mohamed quickly had his turn boy, Nyusef Abdullah, begin cutting branches to alert other travelers of the accident. As Abdullah was alerting others, Mohamed got the first aid box from his lorry and begin applying bandages and ointment. He also gave Wesonga a slice of bread and some water. Then Mohamed and Abdullah carried Wesonga to their lorry, and transported him to the Lugazi hospital. Abdullah rode on the top of the lorry so that Wesonga would have room to rest comfortably on the trip.

At the Lugazi hospital Wesonga was given 34 stitches for 3 lacerations on his head. Also, a broken right arm was set. While in Lugazi, Mohamed reported the crime to the police. He also placed a phone call to Wesonga’s family in Mbale to notify them of his condition. Mohamed stayed the remainder of the day in Lugazi with Wesonga, and then paid his bill of 122,000 shillings as he was released from the hospital that evening.

Mohamed then transported Wesonga to Mukono where he put him up in Collines Hotel. He left a deposit of 300,000 Uganda shillings with the management. He instructed the hotel to care for Wesonga until he returned from Kampala on Tuesday, 15 August. Mohamed plans to transport Wesonga home to Mbale on his return trip to Mombassa next week.

In related news police spokesmen, have asked for the public to help in locating Wesonga’s Nissan pickup. They also caution travelers to exercise caution when they approach non-police or UPDF roadblocks. They promise to apprehend the thugs who robbed Wesonga, and bring them to swift justice.

The N.G.O. Board of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has promised to investigate the Evangelical Missions Alliance and Divine Church of Healing and Deliverance. “We need more men like Mohamed in this country, and less of these phony N.G.O.’s,” they said.

Shell Uganda Management has nominated Abdu Mohamed for the Shell World Citizen award. They have also re-imbursed him for the expenses in aiding Wesonga. Management said, “Mohamed is typical of Shell employees who are driving Uganda into the 21st Century.”

When interviewed Mohamed was asked why he chose to help Wesonga. He humbly replied, “What else could I do? As I have traveled I have learned that all men are my neighbors.”

For further information on this interesting piece of news from Uganda check out the original source. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. He told this story to illustrate the failings of law keeping without compassion for all people. A doctor named Luke recorded it in a historical dissertation approximately 2,000 years ago.

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