The Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF has warned civilians against confronting soldiers who are enforcing the new guidelines intended to curtail the spread of COVID-19 during the on-going lockdown.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced a fresh lockdown last Friday after the country registered a surge of new COVID-19 cases. Museveni also banned use of public, private transport means in addition to bringing forward curfew time from 9pm to 7pm.
UPDF Spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso today said they have observed increasing number of incidents where civilians have attempted to confront soldiers enforcing curfew hours by throwing stones at them and also attempting to grab guns from them.
Brig. Byekwaso said such incidents have majorly been registered in Wakiso district in areas like Kakiri, Bukasa and Kikandwa. UPDF said soldiers were being targeted between 11pm to 2am thus warning that if such confrontation continue, soldiers under such threats will have no option but to use their weapons to defend themselves.
UPDF said one youth identified as Asuman Musoke attacked a night patrol and attempted to disarm a soldier in Kikandwa. Musoke, according to Brig Byekwaso, was arrested and handed over to Kakiri police station.
“I am using this opportunity to sound a warning to such perpetrators. Soldiers under such threats will be forced to defend themselves. There are SOPs and guidelines which must be adhered to. We want to advise the youth to observe SOPs,” said Brig. Byekwaso.
UPDF insists that John Kugonza, a Boda-boda rider who was shot dead last week in Bunyangabu district knocked Pte Denis Onguru before the incident. Brig. Byekwaso said the soldier fired a bullet to disable Kugonza but unfortunately he died in the process.
Meanwhile the joint COVID-19 taskforce will now have Maj. Gen Robert Rusoke as the new commander. He replaces Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda who has been the overall COVID-19 Operations Coordinator.