45 suspects arrested during Nyege Nyege festival in Jinja

45 suspects arrested during Nyege Nyege festival in Jinja
Revellers and performers at the 2023 Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja City.

Jinja, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Police in the Kiira region confirmed  the detention of 45 suspects arrested for their involvement in various criminal behavior during the four-day Nyege Nyege festival in Jinja district.

The suspects have been screened and are currently held at Jinja City’s Nalufenya police station, awaiting further prosecution in the courts of law.

In a statement released by the Kiira regional police command, 45 suspects were arrested on the 10th and 11th of November at Nyege Nyege festival. However, 10 of them are said to have committed minor crimes, were cautioned, and released.

Addressing journalists on Monday 13, November 2023, police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, confirmed that 45 suspects who committed different crimes were also arrested.

“A total of 45 suspects were arrested, 10 were issued police bond and 35 there are arrangements to have them arraigned to court,” Mr Enanga said.

There were 20 cases involving theft of mobile phones, three cases of impersonating police officers, three cases of being in possession of opium, 12 cases of forging entry tickets, and one case of stealing from a motor vehicle. The festivities were held at the Source of the River Nile, the Agricultural Showgrounds, and the golf course.

“20 cases of theft of mobile phones, three cases of impersonation of security and organizers, five minor cases of fire outbreaks, three cases of being in possession of marijuana, one case of stealing a motor vehicle and 12 cases of being in possession of forged tickets,” Mr Enanga added.

Mr Enanga revealed that the event was successful despite terror alerts issued by the United Kingdom and United States of America missions in Kampala, cautioning their citizens against attending public gatherings such as Nyege Nyege festival as well as going to the country’s national parks.

At least 20 cases of phone theft and one case of car theft were reported to Jinja police station during the four-day Nyege Nyege festival in Jinja district.

“The festival ended peacefully with hundreds of people who attended and there were no specific threats or intelligence linked to the event, the fans were vigilant but there were few incidents that were reported to police,” he said.

Mr Enanga says more than 300 Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) soldiers and the police were part of the event to ensure safety of revellers and their property.

The Kiira regional police spokesperson, James Mubi stated that criminal-minded elements took advantage of minor loopholes to create havoc, but most of them were arrested.

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Mubi also affirmed Enanga’s remarks saying that joint forces of police and UPDF were widely deployed in the festival venue and its borderlines to safeguard revelers and their property. Minimal incidents were registered compared to last year’s incidents, which numbered over 86 cases.

He warns the general public to stay alert, as some individuals are constantly scheming to grab valuables during the ongoing festivities, including the royal wedding, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

Meanwhile, Busoga Kingdom’s premier, Hellen Namutumba, commended revelers for their vigilance and constant communication with security operatives to avert any form of diverse insecurity, amidst terror alerts from superpower countries.

The Nyege Nyege festival, an annual music event kicked off on Thursday, November 9, and ended on Sunday, November 12 in four venues; the Source of the Nile, Nile Park, Jinja Golf Ground, and Jinja Agricultural Showground in Jinja district.