At 22hrs on Christmas night, Police in Kalangala open up their armory, picked their equipment including guns and batons and set off to go and apprehend those violating the presidential directive thereby endangering the lives of innocent Ugandans by “doing acts likely to spread a dangerous disease”.
By the end of the operation a couple of hours later, six tourists had been captured and thrown behind bars. An officer in the operation we talked to refused to release their identities, and preferred to first talk sense into them in the morning when they had sobered up, with a possibility of releasing them without charge. All he could say was that many local islanders who were also breaking the curfew and drinking in bars were left to run away because they realised their mistake, but the tourists had stubbornly refused to quit the drinking joints and behaving in a rowdy manner, hence their arrest.
This enforcement of the presidential directives on Christmas evening started from Kudos Safaris one of the resting places in Kalangala Town Council and went on in every bar and club which had prepared trans night entertainments to celebrate Christmas. The islanders have not only been routinely violating the curfew which starts at 2100 hours, but also open bars daily in blatant disregard on the ban that is still in force.
It was thus a game of hide and run since islanders kept running from one bar that police raided to another, until police got there and they ran to yet another and it was like that for hours. Those who were chased from Kudos went to Kisisira Country club and by the time police raided Kisisira at 1am, they crossed back to Kudos Safaris which had remained open even after the police raid, until morning.
The 6 rowdy tourists who spend the night (or morning) in the cells had been drinking in local bars at Mwena landing site.
Nandu James who spearheaded the operations says, they have summoned the bars and clubs operators to explain why they defied the curfew.
He has further warned bodaboda riders who are found of breaking curfew to stop it immediately. They ride without lights and want to knock our police officers during the operations. Nandu adds.
The Islanders and the tourists who violate the curfew and bar closure on Kalangala islands also do not wear masks, nor do they observe social distancing.