Police ordered to pluck off number plates of cars without travel permits

Police ordered to pluck off number plates of cars without travel permits
Travel permits are required for all essential persons who want to move in the 42 days during the lockdown. The permits are only issued to essential workers as described by President Yoweri Museveni. COURTESY | PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Senior Superintendent of Police-SSP Norman Musinga, who is the Kampala Metropolitan Traffic Police Commander has ordered police officers to pluck off number plates of vehicles without travel permits.

The mostly targeted vehicles are those parked on city streets, shopping centres and private parking.

Musinga’s directive is in response to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s ban on the movement of public and private vehicles save for essential workers who have been cleared by the ministry of works and transport.

Mr. Museveni announced a 42 days fresh lockdown on June 18 after Uganda registered a surge of new COVID-19 wave which has proved to be more lethal. Museveni started with banning of inter-district movement but later induced a countrywide total lockdown.

However, Musinga argues that several vehicles beat police roadblocks and access the city centre. Police officers have been ordered to move from street to street and buildings parking checking whether vehicles parked there are cleared by Ministry of Works and Transport.

Assistant Superintendent of Police-ASP Luke Owoyesigyire said there has been a tendency of drivers using access routes or driving very early in the morning to reach the city. Musinga said they have now decided to hunt for such vehicles in the parking areas.

Owoyesigyire said more than 100 number plates have been removed from vehicles and owners will be profiled before given express penalty tickets. The reason for profiling vehicles and owners is to make sure such people are taken to court if they repeat the same crime.

Read Also: Travel permits applicants overwhelm Transport Ministry

Police have been issuing express penalty tickets for vehicles impounded for violating curfew time or making inter-district movements. The drivers or owners pay 100,000 shillings to the bank or use mobile money.

The operation of removing number plates on vehicles without travel clearance has been intensified in Kampala central division which is commanded by ASP Elly Kaigwa, the traffic commander for CPS.

Ever since President Museveni banned private and public vehicles except those for essential workers, police and sister security agencies particularly Local Defence Units (LDUs) have impounded at least over 100 cars every week where owners pay 100,000 shillings as fine.