Police undecided on charges against golfers arrested for violating COVID-19 orders

violating-covid-19-orders-uganda golf-course-ugc
Police Spokesperson Enanga Fred and the Kampala Metropolitan Deputy PRO ASP Owoyesigyire confirmed the operation conducted at Golf Course Hotel, but have both flatly refused to reveal names of people who were arrested.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | It is three days ever since Uganda Police raided Golf Course Hotel along Yusuf Lule road and arrested several members of Uganda Golf Course-UGC on allegations of acting in a manner likely to spread a dangerous disease by flouting the President’s directives and Ministry of Health guidelines on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Nevertheless, police are yet to decide on charges to slap against the suspects who have already been released on bond. Some sources even say that the matter is more sensitive as the bonded suspects if charged are believed to be itching to reveal their fellow accomplices who were let to go away as the “smaller” fish were being taken to the cells where they spent the night and following morning.

These unverified claims have it that the suspects who were allowed to go home included people with “big names” and if true, it would make a mockery of the justice system which claims that all are equal before the law, except the sitting president who cannot be prosecuted. It would also make the police accomplices to the abuse of the president’s directives and Ministry of Health guidelines.

This publication has been informed that Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Paul Lokech ordered Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, CP Moses Kafeero to raid Golf Course hotel on Saturday night after a tip off that the golfers were boozing contrary to curfew, and ban on bars and public gatherings.

President Yoweri Museveni has kept bars, discos and clubs under lock and key in an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In addition, Museveni maintained the 6pm curfew for motorcyclists and 9pm curfew for drivers and other businesses.

An unnamed person on Saturday night alerted Maj Gen Lokech that bigwigs who are members of UGC had continuously been breaching the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by gathering in big numbers and drinking till late in the night.

“When the DIGP was tipped off, he ordered the KMP commander to conduct an operation and a number of people were found inside drinking away in the night, some of them being people in the government,” a source said.

Although Police spokesperson Fred Enanga and Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed the operation conducted at Golf Course hotel, they have both flatly refused to reveal names of people who were arrested for disobeying the president’s directive on Ministry of health guidelines on COVID-19.

“I saw a statement from UGC talking about eight suspects but were are talking about 12 suspects,” said Enanga.

Some very angry people who spent the night and following morning in CPS cells and include a couple of journalists who were hanging out with the big sources that were allowed to go scot-free have reportedly vowed to squeal out the names of the big people who were there and allowed to escape.

Sources add that several “big” people called Maj Gen Lokech asking him to allow the release of their senior comrades but he declined. He instead directed Kafeero to release all the suspects on Sunday morning.

Read Also: Parents in Uganda storm COVID-19 testing centres with ill children

“They all thought they were to be released in the night,” a security source said. “They didn’t expect to spend the night at CPS. They begged to be released at around 6am but that too was rejected. They successfully secured bond at 3pm.”

There is a fear that some of the 12 people whose names had been put on the file which police is planning to submit to Directorate of Public Prosecution –DPP for perusal and legal advice have threatened to reveal names of their accomplices who were let go by police during the raid, and they are pinning their hope for freedom on the DPP fearing to embarrass the “big” suspects.

If indeed police released as many or even more people than the 12 who are waiting to go to court, the DPP might instead make a political rather than legal decision and drop the charges of all the Golf Club suspects, unlike the thousands who face charges for drinking in smaller bars.