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80 arrested in crackdown on sale and consumption of illegal drugs

Some of the detained suspects by police. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police have arrested 83 people in Mukono in an operation targeting people involved in the sale and consumption banned substances. The operation covered the areas of Kitega, Benghazi-Wantoni and Nasuuti among others.

The operation that was commanded by Ismail Kifudde, the officer in charge of Mukono police station saw officers raid bars, video halls and kiosks. The Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire says the operation was prompted by reports implicating people in the affected areas for selling and smoking drugs.

“Information was received by the top commanders of Mukono police divisional headquarters indicating that there are persons who had made it a daily routine to smoke opium and open bars at Benghazi-Wantoni and Nasuuti areas. Management agreed that an operation be conducted to curb the criminality in those areas which was done today,” he said.

He says the suspects have been charged with possession of drugs and flouting COVID-19 preventive guidelines as they were found drinking in bars. These will be produced in courts of law,” he said. Some of the residents in Benghazi village were surprised to see police patrol cars and officers flooding their area.

Sandra Nabukeera, a vendor in Kitega says she had no idea why police raided their area. “Police came in our area and started arresting everyone from crooks, innocent people, those at work minding their business but I have no idea why they have been taken,” she said.

John Kitale, a resident of the area claims that “Police just has a problem with youths in this area because when they are told something they always resist it.” Fredrick Mark Wanyama, another resident says various people were picked including those who were in restaurants.

“I don’t know which people were arrested. We are now in a difficult time of elections where some politicians are using youths to commit crimes, which is now leading to their arrest.” Edmond Kiberu, the Nasuuti village chairperson says he wasn’t part of the operation in his area.

He then appeals to police to always communicate with the local leaders where they intend to carry out operations. “When carrying out such operations, police should get in touch with the local leaders of the areas because we know who are involved in criminal activities and who isn’t,” he said.

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