COVID-19: Police Revises 'Essential' Categories, Several Cars Impounded

Police on Saturday started enforcing new guidelines intended to reduce the number of people that enter the city every day.

The new guidelines which were agreed on Friday in a joint security taskforce were motivated by a noticeable increase of traffic on Kampala streets in disregard of the stay home directives issued last month, as President Museveni declared a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Not even a sticker categorizing a motorist as part of one of the essential categories that Museveni allowed to continue working, was enough to take anyone passed the barricades that the police mounted on all major roads leading into the city.

Only those in the category of health service providers were allowed to continue with their journeys while those outside this category, had their cars impounded.

In Ntinda and Nansana a van carrying Uganda Radio Network (URN) journalists was impounded even when the occupants insisted on being essential workers.     

In his address to the nation, President Museveni permitted only essential and exceptional circumstances which include but limited to people working in security, media, food providers, banks, utility suppliers, among others. The said groups were as well give special stickers.

However, one of the officers at Kanyanya Police Station checkpoint observes that they got directives not to allow any vehicle regardless of whether they have a genuine sticker.    

“I don’t mind if you have a sticker or not, you either drive back to your home or I will impound the car,” the officer told a driver of a vehicle that was carrying journalists to work.  

However Fred Enanga, the Police Spokesperson says that officers at the checkpoints have been told to ensure only vehicles with genuine stickers are allowed on the road.    

“All motorists whose stickers are not linked to that particular category and those that are forged will be withdrawn and vehicles impounded. Those who fail to comply will definitely have their travel plans disrupted amidst other probable sanctions,” Enanga said.

However, at some roadblocks, police lacked the equipment to verify the stickers.    


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