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Do not close shops, enforce curfew, Police chiefs told

By John Tugume

Added 27th March 2020 06:49 AM

Note that there is no curfew and restriction of movement but guided movement. Do not enforce directives based on social media

Do not close shops, enforce curfew, Police chiefs told

A vendor selling items to customers in Mukono. Such traders have not been banned in the new directives by the President.

Note that there is no curfew and restriction of movement but guided movement. Do not enforce directives based on social media

 

Police commanders across the country have told not to close enforce closure of shops or chase roadside vendors since they were not included in the directives intended to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

A message sent out to all regional, district and unit commanders by Assistant Inspector of Police Assumani Mugyenyi, said: "Do not close shops, pharmacies, restaurants/hotels and saloons."

"Roadside vendors have not been stopped, including chapatti sellers. They only need to observe safe distance and hygiene," Mugyenyi said.

He also ordered the enforcement officers to remain humane and courteous, adding that errant officers shall have action taken against them.

Uganda has confirmed 14 cases of COVID-19 and to avoid further spread, President Yoweri Museveni directed several measures.

Among them was the closure of all public transport, whereby even bodaboda's were restricted to only carrying merchandise.

The President also directed that markets only remain open for persons dealing in foodstuff.

By Thursday all parks around Kampala and even across the country did not operate. Most of the shops arcades we also visited were closed, with Police officers telling those who had opened to close up.

However, there were reports of public harassment by police and other security agencies without justification.

But Mugyenyi, in his message said: "Bodaboda stages are not to close except they are to carry food items only."

"Construction company vehicles and institutional vehicles are allowed to carry their workers provided they follow ministry of health guidelines," Mugyenyi said.

The Police chief also said factories will remain open, "as long as workers can walk to their factories and ensure they comply with the ministry of health guidelines."

"Note that there is no curfew and restriction of movement but guided movement. Do not enforce directives based on social media but based on official communication channels," Mugyenyi said.

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