Uganda – 500 arrested as police resume Covid-19 operations

Kampala Metropolitan Police arrested more than 500 people at the weekend in renewed operations against breach of Ministry of Health directives on prevention of coronavirus. President Museveni ordered police to be tough on people who don’t wear masks in public and public service vehicle operators that do not meet new standards.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said more than 200 people found in bars were arrested in areas of Kabalagala in Makindye Division, Kira Road in Nakawa Division and Nansana Municipality.

“Some suspects were found in bars that were closed since they can’t enable social distancing. Others were in gambling shops. People were walking or riding motorcycles in disregard of the curfew,” Mr Onyango said yesterday.

Mr Onyango said operations today will be tougher on people without masks in public and arcades that don’t enforce standard operating procedures. On Saturday night, police mounted roadblocks on Kampala-Gayaza Road where they arrested all non-essential motorists and passengers that were travelling during curfew time.The suspects were forced to sit on the ground for hours before they were released after a caution.

At least 300 boda boda motorcycles were impounded on allegations that the riders were found riding past 7pm. Earlier, President Museveni stopped boda boda cyclists from operating at night during the lockdown.
Last week, the director of operations, Mr Edward Ochom, sent a message to all police units sharing concerns that they had relaxed on their implementation of the presidential directives.

Mr Ochom warned officers that they will be punished if they relax the enforcement of health guidelines.
The Minister of Information, Ms Judith Nabakooba, yesterday said the President has noticed violation of guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus leading to an increase in infection cases.

“Bars are illegally operating; people are attending weddings and funerals in large numbers without masks and social distancing. It is on this basis that President Museveni has directed the enforcement of strict Covid-19 directives. Police have been instructed to enforce other existing guidelines such as curfew time for boda bodas, private and public transport and others,” Ms Nabakooba said.


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