Police Says Over 56 Arrested for Defying COVID 19 ban

IGP Martin Okoth Ochola

As of Friday, through the weekend, all schools (pre-kindergarten to university), bars, discos and night clubs, all religious places of worship, open air market, conferences, public meetings, weddings and funerals were restricted in all parts of the country.

But some people are still reluctant and avoiding the guidelines by H.E The President, and secretly socializing and holding prayers.

“We would like to inform them that there are consequences for willingly violating the health orders by the Ministry Of Health, meant to slow down the spread of the virus.”

“Our teams enforced the orders by warning the culprits and those who continued to violate the rules were arrested depending on the situation.”

For instance, in Iganga, 7 suspects were arrested from Pentecostal churches and another while preaching from Katete market.

In Mpigi 14 bar owners, were arrested at Buwama, operating village bars (Bufunda).

In Kisoro, two church leaders were arrested for disobedience of lawful orders.

They included; Rev Father John Bazimenyera, a 70 year old, male adult and a resident of Kabaya village, central ward, Kisoro municipality and Mbonyembyombi innocent, a 33 year old male adult and Pastor of Christ’s Ministries international Kisoro branch, resident of Gashegeshi village, South ward, Kisoro district.

Their statements were recorded and the two released.

In Mpigi three pastors namely; Serwanga Edward, Asiimwe Jackie and Kenneth Clavel, a Briton, were arrested around 12 midday while preaching at Revelation Christian Centre in Katende, Mpigi district.

They were transferred to Mpigi for further investigations.

On the 22/3/2020 at 8am, at Taara Catholic Parish, Onduru Parish, Ajama Parish, Maracha district; Fr. Adrioni Jino Geria was summoned for conducting mass in the Parish, and charged with disobedience of lawful orders.

He was released on police bond.

In Aswa region, 23 people were arrested including Saverino Lukoya, 96, from a cult.

In Tororo, on 21/3/2020 at around 10pm, about 1000 people were celebrating last funeral rights in the home of Oboi Tanga, they were dispersed and Moses Cyrus Kibong Owor, arrested for inciting violence.

In Masaka, 6 people who dodged the quarantine in Entebbe were traced in Nyendo Masaka and quarantined at Masaka Referal Hospital.

They include; Kiiza Godfrey Kadogo, 43; Nakyaza Margret, 60, Nakitto Janat 57; Nakakeeto Kaluthum 24, Sulaiman Lukyamuzi, 60 and Bunenya Richard.

The refusal of all the above to comply with the new health protocols presents a threat to Public Health and Safety of Ugandans.

“The threat of the virus has not stopped crime, therefore, our officers are still patrolling their jurisdictions and investigating crimes,” said police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga.

“We are asking them to remain vigilant and limit exposure when responding to medical concerns. We have also prioritized prevention by reducing contact with people, reduced detentions, limited visitors to our stations, expanded our online policing options, and encouraged reporting by phones and increased hygiene in our offices and vehicles.”

He added: “We want to conclude by greatly thanking those members of the public, who reached out to the joint security teams with concerns about several businesses, schools, religious places of worship, open air markets, conferences etc. They risked losing their operating licenses.”

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