Pakistan traders in Lira decry insecurity rise, petition to reach IGP Ochola

The Pakistan traders hold their flags along Lira street.

Pakistan businessmen operating in Lira town want to meet the top security administrators of the country over what they describe as ‘a security lapse in the district.’

These follow rise in selected robberies that seem to be targeting Pakistan firms and shops in Lira town in a space of one month.

This was revealed to TND News Uganda by Mohammed Ateeq Nawaz. Ateeq is the president of the Pakistan Association of Uganda in Lira-PAU

He tells TND News Uganda that some of their businessmen have been victims to sequence of robberies in recent weeks in which millions of shillings and properties got lost.

Unfortunately, Nawaz says police have not been helpful in investigating these robberies and that no suspects have been netted yet they reported multiple times to Lira police.

“The police are not helping us – we don’t feel safe in this country anymore, every time we report, nothing is done,” Nawaz, while speaking to this contemporary news website on Tuesday.

He added that the thieves have adopted a sophisticated methodology of executing their missions which have left the security guards employed to man security at their shops and factories crestfallen.

“Our security guards can’t do anything because these thieves climb the wall; cut the iron sheets on the roof, enters in and rob our properties,” PAU president added.

Some of the factories and electronic shops that have so far been robbed include Mien Agro which manufactures vegetable cooking oil and Marshel Agro, all on Kwania road in Lira town.

Others are Farouq Agro on Kitgum road where several tones of sunflower grains were loaded off by unknown thives, electronic shop in the town center.

Nawaz meanwhile blames security especially the police for the escalating crimes and robberies at their factories, further says most times they have alerted police in time but they don’t show up.

“When we call the police, they tell us that the patrol vehicle can’t be accessed and they don’t come to our rescue,” a visibly frustrated Nawaz revealed.

He wonders why the police cannot even truck phones that have been stolen from their electronic shops. According to the PAU president, they have always availed serial numbers and money for tracking to a tune of shs.150, 000.

Nawaz fears inventors abroad would soon fear investing in Lira and the country at large if the police and sister security agencies fail to provide adequate security to foreign investors.

They are now contemplating on petitioning the office of the Inspector General of Police- IGP Martin Okoth Ochola to unleash their frustration with the police in Lira – north Kyoga region.

Three months ago, at Days Inn Hotel in the heart of Lira town, Pakistan community and Lira police met, with police giving them safety assurances and harvest thieves affecting their investments.

But Agha Aslam, the Media coordinator of the Pakistan Association in Uganda says the police never delivered on their promise and that they feel unsafe in their business premises.

Early this year, Lira town saw an upsurge in criminal activities especially robbery of mobile money shops and two people were killed.

About the complaints from the Pakistan Community, authorities at Lira CPS and North Kioga Regional Police headquarters under the command of John Peter Ematu could not be reached for comments by press time.

But Lira Resident District Commissioner [RDC], Robert Abak who heads the district security committee says they have not received or even aware of any selective robbery targeting Pakistanis.

“I am not aware of such cases. If they have complaints – let them write to my office,” Abak told our reporter on phone.

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, the Pakistan community on Tuesday also painted Lira town green as they matched in town to celebrate their national day of independence.

Excited investors walk along Obote Avenue on Tuesday.

They later held celebrations at comedy Club Suiz in Kakoge, one of the suburbs in Lira town.

Pakistan’s Independence Day, which is annually held on August 14, celebrates the country’s independence from the British rule in 1947.

To them, the day is an occasion to promote patriotism and national unity.

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