Ugandan police arrest 500 for flouting COVID-19 directives

Ugandan police and other security forces chase people off the streets, after police cleared a stand of motorcycle taxis which are no longer permitted to operate after all public transport was banned for two weeks to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, in Kampala, Uganda Thursday, March 26, 2020. © AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi
Ugandan police and other security forces chase people off the streets, after police cleared a stand of motorcycle taxis which are no longer permitted to operate after all public transport was banned for two weeks to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, in Kampala, Uganda Thursday, March 26, 2020. © AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi

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.

Ugandan President Yoweri 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.

According to Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango, 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,”  Onyango said yesterday.

He further added that operations 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 traveling 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.