On Saturday 18.04.2020, the Joint Task Force conducted nationwide operations to crackdown on motorists flouting the ban on movement of vehicles, as part of government efforts to fight the spread of the corona virus in Uganda.
The task teams created several checkpoints and found motorists who had left their homes to visit friends, go for non-essential shopping, transporting passengers, while others had no reason.
In the course of the operation, a total of 83 stickers were withdrawn from motorists within the KMP for various reasons including; those that were not linked to the IDs of the bearers; vehicles misused by drivers to conduct non-essential movements including being hired out by unauthorized persons, stickers that were photocopied or scanned and printed; stickers that were duplicated and printed; vehicles using old stickers from the Ministry of Health that were declared invalid; institutional vehicles carrying excess staff in contravention of the Ministry of Health SOPs to mention but a few.
The majority were asked to return to their homes, while a few vehicles were impounded.
Police is investigating a Pharmacist, identified as Abiniv Sen, who bought a forged sticker in the category for utilities; and Mutabazi Kenneth, a Veterinary officer, who was found in possession of a photocopied sticker, that was issued to his wife, a banker at United Bank of Africa.
Other motorists with forged stickers whose cars were impounded include; Ssenyonjo Hussein, found driving car Reg. number UBG 413T, with a forged Telecom company sticker; Mugambwa Paul, driving a car number UBD 969X with a forged sticker for food delivery; Angulo Andrew with a forged sticker for Office of the Prime Minister and Rukundo Edwin, while driving car Reg number UBD 972L.
Police also encountered vehicles with permits from RCCs/RDCs and LCs, with clearances for periods up to one week, that are not related to medical emergencies; pickups carrying passengers and institutional vehicles like banks that were carrying non employees most likely for commercial or other reasons.
“We are expanding our operations to crackdown on shop owners dealing in non-essential items,” said CP Fred Enanga, police spokesperson.
Most of them do leave their homes to stealthily transact business, police technical and intelligence teams captured them while sitting on their shop verandas and selling non-food items to customers, others displayed a few food items in disguise to dupe our enforcement teams, thus flouting the ban on social distancing and shops dealing in non-essential items.
“For emphasis, all our front-line officers have been given guidelines to follow while at checkpoints and how to verify the bar codes on all stickers issued by the Ministry of Works and Transport.”
• Vehicles with Ministry of Works and Transport stickers with barcodes linked to the purpose and driver and in observance of the Ministry of Health SOPS.
• Official vehicles of the UPDF, UPF, UPS, UWA, UWEC, DCIC JIC, Private Security Companies whose occupants must carry institutional IDS and in line with the SOPS from the Ministry of Health.
• Official vehicles with Ministry of Works and Transport stickers for medical, NWSC; power generation, transmission and distribution companies; Banks, judiciary, UNRA, URA, NDA, DPP, NMS, Uganda Red Cross /ICRC, CAA, National Bureau Of Standards, Telecom Companies, Media, KCCA, Urban Authorities, Cleaning Services, Manufacturers, Pharmacies, Veterinary Officials. These are all authorized to strictly carry essential staff only during this period.
• Patients with chronic illness such a cancer, kidney failure, etc, that warrant frequent hospital checkups. They MUST carry relevant medical documents.
• All cargo trucks
• All Bodabodas, motorcycles, bicycles without passengers from 6:30AM to 2PM.
The Joint Task Force are fully united and committed to enforcing the directives and guidelines from H.E.The President and Ministry of Health.
“We continue to thank the majority of Ugandans and visitors that are complying with social distancing and stay at home guidelines. We further call upon them to alert the Joint Task Force on Whatsapp number 0779999999 of any persons suspected of breaking the corona virus partial lock down. We shall do anything within our means to lawfully enforce further and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”
He added: “We are meanwhile addressing concerns from individuals whose stickers were erroneously withdrawn, with the Ministry of Works and Transport. Any inconveniences caused are highly regretted. We have screened and returned them to the Ministry of Works and Transport Headquarters, and kindly call upon the few affected persons to pick them.”