Kigezi COVID-19 Task Force Bans Speeches, Meals at Burials

Elly Maate, Police Spokesperson for Kigezi Region says that the meeting has resolved that a burial service be summarized in less than two hours so that people gather.
Burial team lowering into the grave remains of late Patrick Besiggye Keihwa,former Kabale District LC5 Chairman recently (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

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The Kigezi Region Covid-19 taskforce has banned speeches and meals at burials as a way of preventing public congregation.  The ban was issued on Wednesday after a meeting of security and health officials from the districts of Kabale, Rubanda, Kisoro, Kanungu, and Rukiga.

Major General Francis Takirwa, the Western Region Covid-19 task force chairperson and the Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) Second Division Commander said that the presidential directive that only 20 people should attend burials is being abused due to the availability of food and drinks that attract people. 

Takirwa also says that to prevent people from converging, the task force has resolved that once a person dies, burial should be conducted immediately.   Takirwa says that there are no reasons to prepare meals and drinks since the mourners are few and are only close relatives to the deceased.

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Elly Maate, Police Spokesperson for Kigezi Region says that the meeting also resolved that the burial should not last for more than two hours. Maate also says that all religious leaders have been advised that the prayers at the burials should not go beyond mid-day. 

Maate adds that anybody who will not adhere to the directives by the task force will be arrested.

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Taskforce officials declined to reveal the updated Covid-19 status (statistics) across the districts of Kigezi. Last week, the Kabale District Covid-19 task force ordered all radio stations in Kabale to stop announcing the date and time of burial while airing death announcements as a way of preventing people from converging to mourn.