LIRA – Police in the North Kyoga region has collected Shs 10,880,000 from motorists defying the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in Lango sub-region in one month.
The money has been collected through fines from Boda-boda riders and drivers caught operating beyond curfew hours as well as those found carrying passengers.
This money was collected from the four districts of Otuke where 32 motorists were arrested and charged; Oyam where 43 motorists and 13 drivers were nabbed; in Dokolo district, police impounded 24 motorcycles and Lira where 23 drivers and 48 motorcycles were impounded.
All the money is said to have been deposited in the government account.
Patrick Jimmy Okema, the North Kyoga police spokesperson says the Boda-boda riders and some people with private cars have continued to defy the guidelines which exposes everyone to risk.
Okema also acknowledged the possibility of extortion by some police officers executing these guidelines but said no victims have made any formal complaints, something he says is affecting the fight against corruption.
“If only a member of the public could help us cite one or two officers so that they can serve as an example to the others. But unfortunately, these are just rumors within the community and do not come directly to the police. If only they could do that, we would be able to deal with such things.”
However, Newton Ocen, a Boda-boda rider, says the need to provide for their families as well as meet their other needs has forced them to breach the presidential directives. Ocen, who used to make between Shs 30,000 to Shs 40,000 is now making a maximum of Shs 10,000 a day.
Jimmy Ocen, another rider in Lira said he has resorted to selling his belongings to service a loan he took to acquire a motorcycle.
On June 18th 2021, President Yoweri Museveni issued guidelines to curb the spread of Covid-19. Among these was observance of curfew starting 7:00pm, restriction of PSV and private cars while Boda-bodas were limited to carrying only cargo from 6:30am to 5pm.
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