I drove into Kisekka Market to fix a side mirror, lost Shs4 million to fraudsters
Over the years, many motorists who have driven into Kisekka market have not driven out but walked out with ordeals to forget. But many continue to drive in there. The latest victim shares his experience with the notorious fraud in Kisekka market.
FRAUD | Something silly happened to me downtown in Kiseka market today. I want those who have rides, to be better know this
On my way from Mityana today, a half-naked clearly mentally ill man popped out of the blue on the road as I pulled up from the humps after the town. He just stopped and suddenly stood in the middle of the road. I impulsively swung off the road and dodged him (successfully) and ended up smashing my passenger’s side mirror against a car coming from the opposite direction.
All cool of cos until I reached Kisekka where I proceeded because I thought it was necessary for the craftsmen there to have a physical look, being renowned for having all such spares–like a side mirror of this rare Toyota model. Wait, I have never trusted that place but I was like; it’s small job– what to lose? I needed a quick fix with this side mirror.
When I pulled up in front of some Arcade in Kisekka market, I was swarmed by a mob of all sorts of crazies. No sooner had I parked, than they all covered the whole car. Even before I stepped out, One fellow had already plucked out the damaged side mirror and was shouting, “Boss, no worries, we have this one [the model], let me get it for you wekaali nyo Model 2012 KZ.”
I was feeling pretty cool about the Kampala weather, hyper activity and dust downtown.
These fellows didn’t appear thuggish as such but genuine every day hustlers who do quick fixes- Looks deceive. See Bagyenda seems like this Serious Mother, but she sold Global Trust Bank through a mere phone call like another Aim Global Product, on behalf of government.
Anyway, as I stood leaning on the ride, all doors locked, keys in hand, one lad approached me with grease and a small bolt in his hands, telling me: “Boss, your front right wheel system has a problem.”
He pointed at what he said was problematic as he bent down to start fixing and pulling dripping oil from the shaft. I was alarmed.
He asked for only Shs2,000 to fix back the bolt. I stepped back to have a full view of the car. By now most of the busy bees had gone to swarm other motorist. Back to our lad, after a few minutes, he was like he needed to first remove the tyre in order to have access to the spoilt area.
Reluctant (may be due to confusion+ disorientation from the accident) I gazed on as Lad removed the tyre, said to self–calm down boss.
It was only when I saw him unscrewing more and more things and bent over and hit his shoulder and barked at him, “Whats up, I don’t think we need to unscrew all this shit!”
He then paused, looked at me confidently straight in the eye and very politely said he needed to unscrew all those things because the bolt could only be fitted from the other side appearing to understand this complex engineering clearly more than I did.
You see, I respect people and their craft, and I support them especially my fellow young people. So, I reluctantly watched these two lads continue to do their thing on my wheel. Then ‘Major Lad’ removes the entire system that connects the wheel to some other inner parts–the Tie Rod to be specific.
When he pulls it out, I’m terrified. I came to fix a side mirror, what was going on? He then says, they had discovered many serious problems and needed to take that system they pulled out from my wheel to some big machine at Toyota to fix it. At that point, I was so pissed, I told them “No no, I don’t want. Please fix everything back with the problems you saw, I am done with you. I thought it was easy you said?”
The two lads start dillydallying and they said it was impossible to fix back before first taking it to the big machine.
I lied to them that let me first call the owner of the car. I was now very rattled. I decided to call my friend Martin– who actually sells in Kisekka (but he sells interior things like seat covers, radios, etc reason I hadn’t even thought about him).
Martin drops down from his shop in no time. First thing, he pulls me on the side and goes like…. Benjamin, you’re in deep sh*t.
First things first. He says, right now let’s just try to get you out of here, whether your car is okay or not. At this time, the lads pull up more parts from my Axle saying they needed replacement. They asked for Shs220,000. I had some money from the Workshop I was from so I gave them and gave them. My last warning: Only fix this thing and put it back the way it was and I get out of here.
Major Lad then takes the system to the big machine to fix it, anyway.
I start breathing heavily. I thought that was all over. I didn’t want to fix the car anymore, I just wanted to get out of Kisekka. I just felt unsafe with this car and these Lads
In less then 20 minutes, the Major Lad returned with a guy from the Big Machine place, both having with a receipted list of things they claimed to have replaced. Total bill: Shs4 million!
They had a bill of quantities of all the things, Zed Connectors, Shaft boards, rubber connector etc. All done without my consent.
By now they were all very agitated, the Lad from the Big Machine wants the money so that he leaves; hes pestering in the most Arrogantly annoying sense. Verbal blows with lads ensure. I lose my cool but nothing.
Soon, my friend Martin had to just negotiate my release with the chairman of Kisekka Market. Condition? I leave my car the way you see it in picture with Martin on guard and walk to Stanbic Bank near Buganda Park and withdraw Shs1.5 million. Because the car had its Axles removed, couldn’t move even if I wanted. Why not just go to Police?
“Benja, if you involve the police, they will tell you to pay and sort them. Please go get the cash its coming to 6pm.”
I was infuriated. I wanted to run to the police station but Martin is here telling me it was going to be worse. I pondered. He then remembered and told me apparently there was this guy who spent Shs10 million with these crazy boys.
He said if I go to the police, they will will say you pay Shs7 million instead of Shs10 million and later share it, and that he had heard of this removing tyre fraud around Kisekka. That I was lucky they removed one side, they usual remove all.
That the thugs work together with Police. And that is how Boda 2010 operated, they broke down for me how the criminal network spans streets, shops, Arcades, bodas, garages, and police stations. When I shared in a Whats App, many people had similar stories, or had heard of it around Kisekka
The guys at City Oil have done the fix that took me back by another Shs500,000. The mechanics at City Oild said that’s the trick, they said the kids cut your rubber bolt and they come with the grease, that’s when I connected the whole fraud.
There are intoxicated hooligans who run Kisekka, and they emerge when their humble looking mates set the stage, and they take you hostage with unreal bills, and your car can’t move. The City Oil guys found so many issues, including super glue in the shaft that Kisekka lads had tampered with. I was told that is a fatal error.
How did my side mirror issue cause all this? Its like going to the clinic for a cold and they remove your liver and say it had issues too
By the way, I passed by the police station on Gadaffi Road to report the case just for just. The police told me there’s nothing they can do. That they can’t Risk arresting Kisekka guys and I should know that if I have been living in Kampala. They said the last person who reported at the station had the same issue and paid 6M.
I was later told that they share that money they extort from you with the police. Only advice: If you go to Kisekka market, don’t let any lumpen touch your car. Festive season has started!
As told to Caesar Lubanga-kene by Benjamin Okot
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