luke owoyesigire Kampala Metropolitan Police arrest over 200 COVID-19 measures (1)
Luke Owoyesigyire, the deputy police spokesperson.

A follow-up operation on curfew compliance in the Kampala metropolitan area saw the territorial police Tuesday arrest up to 250 suspects and seized 712 motorcycles and 147 vehicles.

Following operations on curfew compliance in the Kampala Metropolitan area, the territorial police Tuesday arrested up to 250 suspects in addition, to impounding 712 motorcycles and 147 motor vehicles.

According to the deputy police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire, the suspects are currently detained at different police stations from where they will be released on police bond and issued with express penalty tickets.

“They will have to pay first for their vehicles and motorcycles to be released. These operations are continous. The members of the public are once again advised to plan their journeys quite early to avoid any inconveniences,” Owoyesigyire said.

This, however, comes at a time when the police have reintensified the enforcement of the health Standard Operating Procedures against all COVID-19 offenders and defaulters.

On September 22nd, the government further lifted the lockdown on several other sectors. These included among others, the places of worship, weddings and funerals that were permitted to allow strictly up to 200 people only, in addition to observing the undertaking of maximum health guidelines.

In addition, weekly markets specifically, in non-hotspot transmission areas, casinos, gaming, betting shops, and gyms were also allowed to reopen for business.

Speaking on Monday however, Fred Enanga the police Spokesperson said although the easing of restrictions come with terms and conditions, on the capacity limit and strict adherence to the health SOPs, several reports do indicate acts of continuous blatant disregard for the conditions set. 

Enanga in particular cited the public means of transport including taxis and bodabodas. He said these are now carrying more passengers than they are required to.

“For instance, many places of worship disregarded the capacity limit of 200 congregants, some Reverends, Preachers, Choir and church members, had no masks; betting and gaming houses were crowded,” he said.

“Some bodabodas are now carrying two or more passengers, other riders were not observing the 6pm timing; motorists and pedestrians were also not observing the curfew timings, bars both local and registered, were openly operating; taxis and buses were not observing the 70% seating capacity. Generally, there is massive disregard for physical distancing.”

Enanga explained that such behaviours may affect the roadmap towards the full re-opening of the economy, at the end of December 2021. He said contrary to some allegations, the virus is still first spreading in a number of districts across the country. 

He added that to ensure this does not go on, the leadership of the Joint Security Agencies is still very committed to the stability and safety of Ugandans.  

He said they are working hand in hand with other stakeholders in the transport sector, business communities, KCCA, URA, the National Lottery and Gaming Board, to streamline all required enforcement operations.

“The virus is still here, especially in the hotspot areas of Kampala, Kalungu, Kabale, Kumi, Soroti, Tororo, Gulu, Nwoya and Yumbe. We must all be aware that we cannot return to normal lives without sacrifice. If we follow the basic rules by December, some of the restrictions may not be necessary. Let us be careful, extra alert and law abiding.”

“For those that are sceptical about vaccination should know that COVID-19 is a killer and very devastating. We urge all eligible people to get vaccinated, due to the better protection it offers against the virus,” he added.