Sembabule, Uganda | URN | Uganda police in Sembabule district are investigating an incident in which a prominent bar owner, Didas Mayinja Sseruyange whom they were chasing fell down and died.
The police were chasing Mr. Sseruyange, the proprietor of Mayinja Pub, in Kawanga trading centre, Mabindo sub-county while enforcing the COVID-19 directives when he tripped, fell and died.
The police officers were hot on Mayinja’s heels on Thursday 9, September 2021 night at 9.00pm when the incident occurred. The deceased was fleeing police officers who were enforcing the COVID-19 directives.
The incident follows a security meeting at Mabindo Sub-county headquarters, in which several bars in Kulla, Misenyi, Kawanga, and Kikoma villages were identified for defying the directives.
Mayinja’s bar is said to allegedly have defied the directives since 2020 and has been operating openly without any hindrance by the local authorities including police.
According to residents, police and other local leaders would fear to interfere the business since it is the spot where prominent politicians hang out.
To enforce the directives, John Mwesigwa, the Mabindo Sub-county Chairperson, and the security committee organised a night operation to arrest customers and bar owners who defied the curfew directive.
Eyewitnesses say that when a patrol pickup reached Mayinja Pub, all the occupants including Mr. Sseruyange (the bar owner) scattered. During that panicky moment, Mr. Sseruyange tripped and fell to the ground.
After calm restored, his colleagues returned to check on him and found him unconscious, and he died a few minutes later.
They took his body to his home in Kikoma village and the family members were allowed to proceed with the burial arrangements.
According to Simon Ssebowa, the Mabindo Sub-county Councilor, it is absurd for a prominent businessman to die in such circumstances.
He says that the many people have been stressed by the lockdown and they find themselves defying the directives.
Muhammad Nsubuga, the Southern Regional Spokesperson, says they are investigating the incident.
He further cautioned the bar owners to adhere to the COVID-19 directives to avoid being arrested with their customers.