Tuesday, November 06, 2007
WILD WILD WEST
The Stanbic Bank branch in Bundibugyo was robbed Saturday night, to the tune of 1.3 billion shillings (half a million dollars). This is cocoa season, so buyers are coming into the district, which means money is flowing as the lorries of cocoa roll out over the muddy road. The story is that two women approached the two police guards posted by the bank and offered them drinks which were drugged. While they slept the perpetrators (or thugs, as they are referred to in the newspaper) used crow bars, acetylene torches, and the conveniently located keys to the vault to get in and out with the money. This is a town where hundreds of people live within a stone’s throw of the bank, and the process could not have been silent. This is a district with ONE ROAD and a place where NO ONE drives at night, yet when the police set up road blocks they failed to find the guilty cars (there were two). We are sad for the bank manager who is a friendly and competent lady, and for the disruption this will likely bring to our ministries and projects as the bank recovers. Meanwhile today Jonah is involved in meetings to investigate a mystery gastrointestinal epidemic striking people in Kasitu/Kikyo (not too near us). The difficulties of disease investigation and the success of a brazen bank robbery both are reminiscent of what it must have been like to live in the western US 150 years ago . . . .