After President Museveni on Monday declared a 14-day curfew starting March 31, 2020 in a bid to contain further spread of coronavirus, there have been several reports of security agencies breaking into people’s homes and battering them in the pretext of enforcing the presidential directives in different parts of the country.
However, the army has warned of dire consequences against such “rogue security elements.”
The joint security forces on Friday said the role of enforcing the curfew in Kampala metropolitan area (Kampala, Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso districts) lies with the police, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and Local Defence Units (LDU).
"It has come to the attention of the Joint Security Forces that rogue elements are breaking into people's homes and beating them up while masquerading as security personnel enforcing the curfew. Those being tempted to do so must stop forthwith before they are arrested," said the army spokesperson, Brig Gen Richard Karemire before adding that GISOs and reservists, among other security agencies have not been enlisted in the enforcement of the curfew.
This was after photos and videos showing LDUs and other security personnel battering people in their homes were widely shared in the media.
A 30-year-old boda boda cyclist is nursing bullet wounds after he was shot by security operatives enforcing President Museveni’s curfew.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango identified the cyclist as Vincent, 30.
He said the rider was shot in the buttocks on Tuesday night during the enforcement of the night curfew announced by President Museveni as part of the COVID-19 preventive measures.
According to the police spokesperson, the officers waved down Vincent several times but he tried to knock them down and fell down.
He allegedly grabbed a constable identified as Isaac Kabos prompting his colleague, Stephen Wafula to open fire.
In his statement, Mr Onyango says they have opened assault charges against the suspect who was rushed to Mulago National Referral Hospital for treatment as they wait to interrogate him to ascertain his motive.
President Musevni on Monday announced a curfew between 7pm and 6:30 am for 14 days starting March 31, 2020 in a bid to forestall the spread of coronavirus.
The shooting happened moments after President Museveni announced 11 new cases, bringing the total number of Uganda’s confirmed cases to 44.
Mr Karemire, however, said the security Forces on duty have been briefed not to enter people's homes and compounds purporting to be enforcing the curfew.
“Enforcement is only limited to restriction of movement beyond home during curfew time,” he said before warning civilians against attacking security Forces on duty.
"There have been reports of some indisciplined people pelting stones at Forces on patrol. This must stop and anyone doing it will be promptly apprehended. This pandemic poses an existential threat. There is no alternative to total compliance with all directives and guidance from government,” he said.
A Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier is nursing injuries he sustained after he was attacked by a gang of youth as he was on duty implementing the presidential directives in Mityana District.
Sgt Paul Kyandiya was attacked at around 9 pm on Tuesday while implementing the curfew announced by President Museveni on Monday evening as one of the measures to prevent further spread of the COVID-19.
The curfew which runs between 7 pm and 6:30 am took effect on Tuesday and is supposed to last a period of two weeks.
It is alleged that the assailants hit the soldier with a blunt metallic object which left him with a fractured arm.
According to the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Isha Ntumwa, police have managed to arrest two suspects but are still hunting for others.
"Mityana has many criminal gangs; one of them attacked our soldier and hit him while on duty implementing the presidential directives at Busimbi-station Road," Mr Ntumwa said.
“Our officer kept calm and didn't harm anybody,” Mr Ntumwa said adding that they are now going to be tougher while implementing the directives.
He cautioned residents to obey the directives or else they will test their wrath.
President Museveni on Tuesday warned of serious consequences to whoever violates the curfew.
"On the issue of curfew, it started today not yesterday. It will be from 7:00pm to 6:30am. Anyone that will be moving around that time will be doing so at their own risk, and I warn you; We do not want any incidents," President Museveni warned on Tuesday.