The heartbreaking story of the teenager Brinah Nalule, who was kidnapped at the old Taxi Park and murdered on Sunday, is just one of many instances of increasing incidences of kidnap resulting in murder around the country in recent weeks.
In the same space of time, the body of a 32-year-old woman was found dumped in Matugga, Wakiso District. The woman’s brother and two other people were arrested in connection with the death.
With such alarming reports of kidnap and murder, it is beginning to seem like no one is safe anywhere.
Criminals are still using mobile phones to demand ransom and little appears to have been done in the way of tracking them and closing the loopholes in the system.
However, perhaps more worrying is the level of impunity involved in this criminal activity, which is at an all-time high. Criminals call families and torture them in such cruel ways and everyone seems powerless to stop the nightmare.
As a result, wrong elements are now emboldened to commit crime because the system is broken.
Either there are not enough measures in place to deter criminals or the stakes are high enough to motivate those willing to commit crime.
Since the year began, at least nine cases of kidnap have been recorded. In these instances, 80 per cent of the kidnap victims did not make it out alive, in spite of police efforts and families attempting to pay kidnappers.
Besides what appears to be the pursuit of quick monetary gains by some unscrupulous people, land wrangles are coming up as one of the leading causes of strife and crime. Increasingly, the land quarrels are among family members.
Perhaps special attention needs to be given to this emerging phenomenon by strengthening the capacity of family arbitration structures such as the family units based at police stations.
When under threat, family members need to know that there is a place they can report an escalating threat to life and property.
In the meantime, the police needs to show progress in fighting this trend of crime; whether in terms of concluded cases leading to convictions or establishing systems to detect and prevent crimes.
Without this kind of commitment on the part of the law enforcement agencies it would seem that we have thrown our hands up and allowed the criminals to take over.