Peril for the Good Samaritan in Uganda

Peril for the Good Samaritan - by Charles Onyango-Obbo

.Excerpt taken from Made and Brewed in Uganda: A short tour through the soul of a nation and its people, by Charles Onyango-Obbo. (2008. Uganda: Fountain Publishers Kampala)

“Helping people in distress is honourable and one way of going to Heaven. One of the moment’s when a Good Samaritan’s services are needed most is when road accident victims are in good assistance. But the person who seems to be the victim of an accident may not always be. In isolated parts of highways in Uganda, like along Mabira Forest between Kampala city and the eastern industrial town of Jinja, robbers lie in the middle of the road as their accomplices hide, armed, on the roadside. When a car stops to help the man lying on the road in the belief that he has been knocked in a hit-and-run accident, his accomplices jump from the bushes and rob the occupants of the rescue car. Many times they have been robbed of everything and stripped to the bare skin. There have also been incidents when women passengers were raped.”

“Some motorists have taken the lesson to heart. When they find someone lying on the road, they work on the assumption that they are thieves, and they simply press the pedal down and run over them. A few thieves have met their end this way — but some hit and run victims who might have been saved have also been finished off in this manner. It’s a tricky one, this. The choice is yours.”

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