Sunday May 18 2014

BY THE WAY : How to quell a riot with Shs2.5b

A few days ago, it came to light that the police, on average, need Shs2.5b(about $1m) to handle a riot in Kampala. The closest an average individual has come to quelling a riot is the times he/she has had to use reasonable force to hurl food down their throats to quiet rioting stomach enzymes reacting to long spells of food deprivation.

With the knowledge that, that endeavour never costs anywhere in the vicinity of Shs2.5b, it is no surprise that the mind of such an individual fails to understand how the police spend such an amount of money on one riot.

Do the riots involve performances from international artistes? Are special agents flown in from the US to help calm the crowds? Is the tear gas made from tears of a unicorn? Is a three-course meal given to each of the rioters? Is each protestor given a bottle of wine to carry off? Are the handcuffs used made of gold? Are the policemen we see battling the crowds actually a specially-trained force flown in from the future? These are some of the questions asked by ordinary individuals who don’t know about the complexity of modern-day policing in a developing nation. If only they knew just how taxing (pun? Here? No) police work is, there would never ask such mundane questions. These same ordinary individuals have gone as far as sharing what they feel would be better ways to use the money while quelling riots. They suggested that police should:
Do research on what musicians the rioters like and invite them to perform.

When the incensed crowd starts to reach for stones, use a crane to lower the musician from a chopper onto a flashy stage set between the crowd and the police. The musician should then usher the irate crowd and the police into several hours of vigorous dance. The police of course should not dance too hard since they would need to round-up the ringleaders.

Put the money in neat sacks and invite the rioters to queue and pick it one at a time. The nation has already embraced the money-in-a-sack culture so asking people to line-up for it won’t be a big leap. Each one would have to sign for the money before it is handed over to them.

- Peter Kakoma