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COVID-19 Lockdown: Masaka Leaders Protest Security Brutality, Extortion

Led by Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Nyendo-Mukungwe division Chairperson, the leaders have blamed the security operatives for being so merciless to people something that has raised public outcries in the area.
Fred Bamwine, Masaka City Resident Commissioner (in white mask) inspecting the town to check on the adherence of SOPs

Audio 5



Local leaders in Masaka City divisions are decrying over the continued brutality and outright extortion by security operatives enforcing COVID-19 prevention guidelines in the area.

The leaders have expressed concern about what they describe as unbearable levels of ruthlessness with which the police and army operatives treat residents while conducting operations to enforce Standard Operating Procedures. 

Led by Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Nyendo-Mukungwe division Chairperson, the leaders have blamed the security operatives for being so merciless to people something that has raised public outcries in the area.

Mulindwa indicates that they have received several reports from people who have suffered beatings by security officers who raid them in their homes and workplace, before accusing them of flouting Presidential Covid-19 prevention directives. According to him, in many cases, the enforcement teams have fleeced money from people and on many occasions went away with merchandise of their suspects; especially evening food vendors in trading centers.

//Cue in: “people are beaten up….

Cue out; …. medical facilities.”//

Luganda //Cue in; “enkyata y’abantu mbi…. 

Cue out; ….tukisanze nga kingi.”//

Mulindwa who is also the Nyendo-Mukungwe division COVID-19 taskforce head argues that the security operatives are committing the irregularities on instructions of Masaka City Resident Commissioner Fred Bamwine, who he says is covering them up and deliberately dodging whoever seeks audience with him over the mistreatment. 

//Cue in: “I have tried several…..

Cue out; ……this covid-19.”//

Luganda  

//Cue in: “naye nga biva….  Cue out; …..abantu banobona.”//  

Savimbi Mukasa, the Nyendo-Ssenyando division councilor for Katwe Central ward says that operatives deviated from the real purpose of enforcing COVID-19 prevention guidelines, alleging that they are now using it as a chance to harass people over selfish gains and political biases. 

//Cue in; (Luganda) “wabula n’abakola emirimo…. 

Cue out; ….mbeera ya kubanyigiriza.”//

Fred Bamwine, the Masaka City Resident Commissioner when contacted about the matter, blamed the political leadership of inciting the residents in the area against observing the prevention guidelines despite the surge of cases in the area. 

He refutes claims of harassment by security operatives, arguing that the political leaders are only maligning them for selfish political scores.

However, while officiating at the handover of the greater Masaka Regional Police Commander last week, the Uganda Police Force Chief Political Commissar, AIGP Asan Kasigye cautioned officers against violation of human rights while executing their duties especially during the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations. He urged the officers to spend time sensitizing the citizens about the realities of COVID-19 instead of mistreating them.