Man impersonates police, arrested for transporting passengers

Busoga North police spokesman, Michael Kasadha

Police in Jinja city are holding Wilbrod Baleta, a resident of Yesu Amala zone in Nansana municipality of Wakiso district, for impersonation as a policeman to start ferry passengers from the different parts within Kampala metropolitan area to Jinja city with intention to willfully violate the Covid-19 transport restrictions.

The suspect is accused of ferrying passengers on a motorcycle (of Red Hunter model) registration number; UFE 975E which has been riding for the last five days.

By the time of his arrest on Monday morning, Baleta was according to police, dressed in full police uniform, forced his way through a security checkpoint, prompting officers who had noticed him carrying passengers before to block him. 

Baleta failed to explain the particular police region he is attached to or his viable police commanders, prompting the standby security personnel to arrest him immediately.

Baleta confessed to committing the crimes, adding that he was working as a special police constable-SPC attached to Nansana police station, but never returned to the government stores after the expiry of his three months contract. 

“I have been ferrying stranded passengers as a means of earning a living, however, I did not steal any government stores because the uniforms I am wearing right now were given to me as one of the SPCs attached to Nansana police station, but I just delayed to return them to the authorities,” he pleaded.

Maurice Niyonzima, the Kiira central acting police station commander, says that each of the passengers ferried by Baleta from Kampala metropolitan area was charged between 100,000-150,000 Shillings. 

He says the suspect, currently detained at Kiira central police station will face four counts of impersonation, illegal possession of government stores, disobedience of lawful orders, and engaging in acts likely to spread an infectious disease.

On Sunday last week, President Yoweri Museveni put the country back on a total lockdown as a measure to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the community. The directives include banning all inter-district transport and tightening night movement curfew restrictions.

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