Africa & World

Minister directs police to beat up people defying lockdown guidelines

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  • "... just beat them. I am speaking as co-chair of the enforcement team national. Don't allow them to cause us distress…Yesterday, when I was coming, I found Petete trading center full of people including children as if there is no lockdown," she said.

UGANDA’S Minister in charge of Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Office of the President Monica Musenero has directed security in Butebo district to start beating people defying the presidential directives and guidelines on COVID-19.

Musenero who is also the co-chair of the national COVID-19 enforcement team issued the directives to Butebo resident district commissioner (RDC) Emmy Mitala during the burial of her 81-year-old mother Eunice Logose Shaine at Kabelekeke village Petete sub county over the weekend.

“Bwana RDC just spank them, just beat them. I am speaking as co-chair of the enforcement team national. Don’t allow them to cause us distress…Yesterday, when I was coming, I found Petete trading center full of people including children as if there is no lockdown,” she said.

The burial that was conducted in full adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and presidential directives was relayed live on two local radio stations for the public.

The RDC had complained to Musenero about the continued abuse of SOPs by the residents, which he said has escalated further spread of the virus in the area whose health system is too ill-equipped to handle.

‘’Honorable minister, in our quest to contain further spread of the disease, there is a no of stakeholders we have not yet met including witchdoctors in our attempt to create synergies to counter the disease, but our people have refused to go away from trading centers, they are not following SOPs, now we are stuck’’ Mitala reported.

Mitala, who said the 510 doses of COVID-19 vaccines the district received last week were too little, noted that the disease is currently fast spreading in all sub-counties across the district. According to Mitala, the district is a transit route to several districts like Bukedea, Kumi, Pallisa Kibuku and Budaka.

Musenero said the country is currently overwhelmed with the spread of the disease and people have to adhere to the SOPs, adding that even it if means beating them to compel them to adhere to the SOPs.

The Bishop of Bukedi Diocese, Samuel George Bogere Egesa who led the requiem mass called upon the government to recognize religious leaders as essential workers whose movements should not be restricted. – Observer Uganda ■

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