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Police Explains Heightened Security Deployment in Kampala :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Police Explains Heightened Security Deployment in Kampala

Speaking to the media during the daily Joint Security briefing at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson said they had received actionable intelligence that boda boda riders joined by taxi drivers and other persons whose businesses are yet to be opened were planning to riot.

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Different parts of Kampala Metropolitan Area woke up to a more than usual security deployment of police, the UPDF and the Local defence Units.

In some areas where the roadblocks and checkpoints had been removed thanks to the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, they had been returned with officers although not stopping motorists, were more keenly paying attention to the occupants in the car.

In areas like Lubaga division, a number of bodabodas were impounded and some riders reported as arrested. Now the Police says all this has been done to forestall a planned demonstration by bodaboda riders protesting the continued restriction on their business due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Speaking to the media during the daily Joint Security briefing at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson said they had received actionable intelligence that boda boda riders joined by taxi drivers and other persons whose businesses are yet to be opened were planning to riot.  

Enanga said although they understand the concerns of the people who have been under lockdown for almost three months now, they can never allow any protests in Kampala or any other part of Uganda because of the risk of infection of COVID-19 at such a time.

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Enanga revealed that yesterday the leaders of the Joint Security Taskforce met with boda boda, taxi and other business leaders in Kampala to dissuade them from taking a confrontational approach in order for the government to reopen their businesses. 

Last week the government allowed public transport to resume, provided all passengers to wear face masks and the car carries half its normal capacity. Enanga also warned that they are going to crackdown hard on those people whose businesses were allowed to reopen but continue to flout the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the ministry of health.

“The public should know that we are in the midst of a pandemic that any relaxation can lead us into a second wave,” he added.

For his part, Brig. Richard Karemire, the spokesperson of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces said they can’t allow to see the effort of health workers who have ensured that Uganda records no death in the fight against COVID-19 go to waste. 

“With the easing of the lockdown there is a laxity when the situation is more lethal than it were three months ago. Some of our frontline fighters are already victims, when you see the level of laxity you really wonder how we are moving forward and whether there is hope of defeating this COVID-19,” said Karemire.  

He called on all people to observe all the restrictions put in place by the government which include; social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands regularly among others. “How do you want security organs to respond with such blatant violations? All the measures are aimed at saving our lives. Those who are trying to go on strike should forget that option. Protection of the lives of Ugandans will remain our main focus,” said Karemire.

Police also announced that they arrested 309 people and impounded over 100 motorcycles and over 50 cars across the country for violating different COVID-19 restrictions like moving past curfew time, carrying more than three people in a car, boda bodas carrying passengers among others.

The police also condemned an attack by over 40 bodaboda riders against the joint security team in Kawempe. The riders were irritated by an attempt to arrest one of their colleagues who was found carrying a passenger. In the ensuing chaos, a police officer identified as Kimumwe Jamal was injured.

“We have identified the culprit from the images captured by CCTV and we are going to make sure that those are arrested to promote fear never to attack security personnel,” said Enanga.  

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