This year’s third edition of the annual Rolex Festival ended prematurely as hundreds hardcore thugs stormed the National Museum Grounds causing havoc by roughing up and robbing patrons of their valuables in broad day light.
This year’s edition was themed ‘Street Smart’ was aimed at promoting hygiene among the Rolex vendors. But instead, street smart thugs invaded the venue and took advantage of the unsuspecting revelers who intended to have fun.
Unlike previous edition, this time around the venue had a full house; not only with adults but also children who flocked the Museum to celebrate Uganda’s famous delicacy.
Not even the presence of the police providing security could deter these goons from their mission despite many of them being arrested.
Women were targeted mostly as a considerable number lost their smartphones and had hand bags snatched from them in what seemed like well-coordinated moves by the thieves also known as Kifeesi.
For many, what started an entertaining day turned bloody. Thieves resorted to assaulting women who tried to fight back, with bottles and potentially jaw breaking punches leaving helpless on the ground.
At some point, the green grass at the Museum grounds was blood stained. This prompted many revelers to leave the venue as early as 6pm for fear of their lives; and it was worse for those who remained.
Kiira Road police station was the source of reinforcements as over 50 suspected thieves were arrested and over 15 mobile phones recovered. SP Kasigiire of Kiira Road police station blamed the organizers of the event, who he described as ‘selfish’ for the mess.
“When we asked them how they are protecting people, they said that they had Anti-terrorism police. It is a surprise for us to find people crying outside and insulting us for not protecting them. We have so far arrested over 50 suspects and recovered over 15phones and we hope to get more because people are still crying for their things. People need to learn a lesson from such events to be more careful, thieves here are hardcore ones from Naguru, Mulago and Kamwokya” SP Kasigiire said before running off to capture more thieves who by that time were being chased by the angry revelers themselves.
When contacted by ChimpLyf about the fateful night Enid Mirembe, the CEO Rolex Festival apologized to revelers saying that they were not prepared for the big crowds.
“We employed the usual number of security guys that we have always used in the past editions. We had not foreseen that this year’s edition would pull such a big crowd that could not be handed by our security personnel but thank God we had to deploy more Police at the venue from Kira Road Police station and everything normalized,” she said.
Mirembe affirmed that this was a lesson for the organizers as they plan to make the festival bigger next year.
“We are so sorry for the damages caused and because of the support from Ugandans, our next event will come off clean with no issues of insecurity because we shall make sure we deploy enough security. We are going to be bigger and better. We are looking at going regional and exporting the experience to other countries,” she stated.