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Catholic nuns held over marijuana plantPublish Date: Jun 08, 2010
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By Ali Mambule

THE Police in Masaka have arrested two nuns for allegedly participating in growing marijuana.

The two nuns, who had declined to reveal their identities to the Police, were picked from Bwanda Convent in Masaka district, where the Police found a banana plantation full of the illegal crop.

The New Vision later learnt that one of the nuns is Nanteza, while the other is Sister Rita.

The Masaka district Police commander, Titus Byaruhanga, also arrested two other men — Joseph Rwakasore and Raymond Muwanga — who were found attending to the plantation.

However, there was a scuffle when Sister Nanteza attacked the Police, accusing them of entering the convent without permission.

“You bypassed us without saying anything. What if you got a problem here, whose fault would it be?” Sister Nanteza asked Byaruhanga and other Police officers.
The officers said they were fully armed and expected less resistance from the religious women.

When asked to make a statement, Sister Nanteza refused and moved towards her residence. But Byaruhanga instructed his female officer, identified as Donam, not to let her go, unless she recorded a statement.

Donam then tried leading Nanteza to one of the Police vehicles, but she declined.
Nanteza was later joined by her colleague, Rita and were both led to Masaka Police Station.

The southern regional Police spokesperson, Noah Serunjogi, said they were yet to forward the two nuns to court to be charged.

“No one is allowed to plant marijuana,” Serunjogi said, adding that some people took advantage of the religious leaders’ residences to commit crime.

Byaruhanga said his intention was not to arrest the nuns, but he was forced to lead them to Masaka Police Station when they refused to record a statement.

Sister Rita told Byaruhanga that the marijuana was not for sale, but for treating farm animals, particularly pigs.
The nuns were later released on Police bond after recording statements, but Rwakasore and Muwanga were detained.

Over the last one year, the Police have been carrying out operations to net people growing and dealing in marijuana.

Acting on tip-offs from area residents, the Police was able to uproot the crop from several gardens in Wakiso, Luwero, Masaka, Busia and in parts of northern Uganda. In some cases, the suspects were got with rolls of dry marijuana in sacks.

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