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Security Teams Accused of Brutalizing Locals in Enforcing Public Transport Ban

A section of the kitgum coronavirus taskforce committee members have blamed security forces of using highhanded measures in enforcing the ban. Kitgum Municipality Mayor Livings Walter Tooroma says implementation of the directiveS have been misinterpreted by security personnel who are instead harassing locals.
a suspect is led to a waiting car by a police officer in kitgum during recruitment of police officers in kitgum last year. photo by julius ocungi

Audio 4

Security personnel in kitgum municipality have been accused of brutality and extorting money from residents while implementing president Museveni’s directive on suspension of public transport.

President Museveni issued the directive on Wednesday, suspending all forms of public transport including all taxis, coasters, buses, passenger trains, Tuk-Tuks and Boda-bodas for at least 14 days. The ban us one of the measures taken to control the spread of coronavirus disease-COVID-19 in the country.

But a section of the kitgum coronavirus taskforce committee members have blamed security forces of using highhanded measures in enforcing the ban. Kitgum Municipality Mayor Livings Walter Tooroma says implementation of the directiveS have been misinterpreted by security personnel who are instead harassing locals.

He cited that many people owning motorcycles are being stopped from accessing urban centers even when they are not carrying passengers while others are subjected to caning.

//cue in; “within town there…

Cue out…district task force.”//

Tooroma notes that the move is creating more panic among the populace who now can’t access the central business area to purchase goods or access health facilities.

//cue in; “we need to

Cue out… to an end.”// 

Luo //cue in; “directive ma ladit…

Cue out…cooperate with people.”//

Pastor Charles Latigo from the seventh Day Adventist Church who is also a member of the coronavirus task force alleged that police officers are now extorting money from motorists who have been arrested for defying the directives. He says the practice is frustrating efforts of the taskforce in trying to implement the president’s directives since culprits are set free after paying off police officers.

//cue in: “community are complaining…

Cue out…of their work.”//

Kitgum District Police Commander Moses Bwire directed that such police officers be identified so that they are easily apprehended for their actions.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner  William Komakech on the other hand says that those who suffered harassment might have put resistance that provoked the security personnel. Komakech says security personnel are not advised to harass residents but rather ensure that they enforce directives barring carrying of passengers on Boda Boda motorcycles.

Ever since the presidents’ directives on Wednesday suspending public transport, several people have been left stranded and while others forced to foot to work as taxi, bus operators and Bodaboda motorists all adhered to it. Uganda has so far registered 18 covid-19 cases.