Three Uganda police officers arrested for guarding unauthorized music concert in Munyonyo

Patrick Onyango
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uganda Police Force has arrested three of their very own for allegedly guarding an illegal music concert that took place on Saturday night at the Ddungu Resort in Munyonyo, a Kampala suburb.

According to SP Patrick Onyango, the spokesperson Kampala Metropolitan Police, the police officers who have been arrested include; L/AIP Fabiano Juma, PC John Bosco Ocaba and PC Paul Odongo.

Onyango told this publication that the concert organisers connived with the area police officers including the three officers to provide security for the event.

He adds that the arrested officers and three others still at large are also being investigated for disobeying lawful orders.

Onyango notes that the Ministry of Health issued guidelines following the outbreak of the Coronavirus [COVID-19] and some people continue to disregard them. Among the guidelines put in place was the suspension of concerts attended by revellers in order to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Onyango says these these guidelines still stand, adding that the police force condemns “the acts of some selfish individuals, who are bent on violating the directives on COVID-19 with the purpose of making money while risking the lives of many Ugandans.”

The police officers were arrested alongside six civilians who organised or attended the concert. Onyango says the suspects include a Nigerian artiste Stanley Omah Didia alias Omah Lay, artiste Temilade Openyi alias Tems,  Muyiwa Awomiyi [Temilade’s manager].

The others are; Benjamin Kabura, Ivan Ddungu, the manager of the place where the concert was held, and Prim Kasana, the event manager, who contracted Omah to perform at the concert.

Nigerian singer Omah Lay
Nigerian singer Omah Lay takes a selfie with fans during yesterday’s concert.

The nine suspects were detained at Katwe Police Station for holding a concert in violation of Ministry of Health guidelines and thereby “doing acts that are likely to cause the spread of infectious disease, which is Coronavirus.”

Before police made any arrests on Sunday 13th evening, Justine Kasule Lumumba, the Secretary General National Resistance Movement [NRM] and other members of the general public castigated the police for not doing enough to stop the concert from taking place.

The heated debate was sparked off by images and videos of revellers and the musicians having fun at the concert, something that angered entertainers and people who say security officers are enforcing the  COVID-19 measures selectively.

Meanwhile, After spending a night at Katwe Police Station, Nigerian musician Omah Lay was on Monday 14th, December 2020 afternoon arraigned in court for charges related to violating COVID-19 guidelines.

At a few minutes past 1:00pm, the musician was brought to Makindye Court in a rather secretive arrangement. In Court, Omah Lay was seen covering his face with a pink wrapper, clearly hiding from the attention of the cameras.

Upon hearing the case, Omah was sent to Kitalya Prison where he will be until December 16th, 2020. Tems, on the other hand, was sent to Kigo Prison and will also return to Court on the same date.