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Hundreds claim motorcycles from police stations after presidential pardon

Some of the impounded motorycles and bicycles at Luweero Central Police Station on Monday . Police is varifying motorists before handing them back.  Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Hundreds of motorcyclists have turned up at police stations in Luweero district to claim their motorcycles that were confiscated during operations to implement presidential directives on COVID-19.

The motorcycles had initially been restricted from operating beyond 2 pm. However, President Yoweri Museveni extended their operation time to 5 pm and granted amnesty to all persons whose motorcycles were impounded for operating beyond 2 pm.

In Luweero, the police had confiscated over 100 motorcycles and 30 bicycles from persons who defied the initial directives. Although some of them had fled to evade arrest, many of them have already turned up to benefit from the amnesty and pick the motorcycles from Wobulenzi, Bombo, Kasana and Luweero Central Police stations

Yunus Mwami, a resident of Wobulenzi town explains that he was riding from the garage after 2 pm when his motorcycle was impounded. His attempts to explain the circumstances under which he was found on the road yielded no results, prompting him to abandon the motorcycle to survive arrest.

Livingstone Kaweesa, a resident of Nakaseta village in Nakaseke district says that his son had ridden the bicycle to deliver food for him in hospital when he was arrested for defying presidential directives. It was then transferred to Luweero Central Police Station where he has been pleading with officers to release it in vain.

Another motorcyclist Livingstone Kavuma says that his motorcycle was impounded at 2:10 pm on Sunday, while riding home from the garden. He however adds that they were equally excited to hear President Museveni pardoning them and extending their operation time to 5 pm.

Luweero District Police Commander Abraham Tukundane says that over 100 motorcycles and scores of bicycles impounded in the lockdown will be returned to owners after recording their statements and presenting genuine documents of ownership.

Tukundane, however cautioned the motorists against breaching President directives again.

So far 25 people have been arrested and remanded to Kitalya Prison for defying his directives in Luweero since the President announced directives to combat COVID-19. However, none of them is a motorist.

The last suspects to be remanded are a pastor of Dove Light Church and ten of her followers who were remanded for defying a Presidential ban on religious gatherings.

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