By Innocent Anguyo
KAMPALA - Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Andrew Felix Kaweesi has said only places approved to display fireworks will be allowed do so on New Year’s Day.
Fireworks will only be displayed at exactly midnight and will last a maximum of five minutes, he said.
“We shall deploy officers to monitor display of fireworks at all the approved venues. The officers will have their own clocks for timing the display.”
He warned that people who defy the directive could be charged with disobeying lawful order.
Kaweesi said the move was aimed at stemming crime associated with long fireworks displays such as terror attacks through bomb detonations that could sound like fireworks being blasted.
After the mandatory five minutes of displaying fireworks, revelers at the premises from where the fireworks will be displayed will expected to vacate the areas or face arrest for idling.
Also banned is the lighting of bonfires at homes, on roads and in public places which could escalate into uncontrollable fires with potential of destroying property and killing people.
Anyone found doing contrary to the police ban risks arrest and eventual prosecution in the courts of law, said the police commander.
Meanwhile, over 20 suspected notorious criminals have been arrested during the festive season and remain detained at Central Police Station awaiting prosecution in courts of law, police say.
On Friday, over 30 people arrested in connection to various crimes committed around the city in the same period were charged.
Police say at least five people died and 28 were injured in accidents across Kampala in the last four days.
The December festive period, popular for several road carnages, saw three travellers die in a boda boda (motorcycle) accident along the Northern Bypass.
Among the recorded deaths was of a man fatally shot by a security guard in Nalukolongo and of a child who drowned in a swimming pool at Jokas Hotel.
Kaweesi said the injured are being treated at Mulago hospital in the capital.
Elsewhere, nine people onboard a commuter taxi were killed when their vehicle collided head-on with a trailer on Jinja road in Seeta.
The omnibus (local matatu) was reportedly on its way back from a music show at One Love beach in Busababla, on the outskirts of Kampala.
Three passengers were critically injured from the crash.