Uganda: Police Warn Protesters Could Face Five Years in Prison for Damaging Roads

Police have warned that rioters may face up to five years in prison for destroying roads as the opposition political leaders continue to mobilize crowds to protest the rising cost of goods and living.

This caution was made by police spokesperson Fred Enanga while giving an update on how police is countering the “Kunga Uganda” demos by the opposition political parties.

Enanga said that the enforcement body continues to witness individuals and political players who are inciting and rallying Ugandans to “Kunga” stay home protests, however, some of them are allegedly encouraging their supporters to engage in unlawful assemblies.

Last week, police registered a number of demonstrations most especially in Jinja at Namulesa along Jinja-Kamuli road where people blocked the road, burnt tires, stoned motorists and also looted some shops.

“This is to get to show you that whenever we tell Ugandans that the motive of some of these individuals and political groups is violence. They think we are simply blocking them from exercising their rights,” Enanga told reporters at Naguru police headquarters.

He said that in order to restore sanity in those places, the joint security agencies arrested a total of 162 suspected rioters out of which 105 were charged to courts of law.

Among the charges included incitement of violence, holding unlawful assemblies however, they were also charged under the road act under the ministry of works and transport section 63.

The police spokesperson said that some people are driven into committing crimes of which they don’t know their repercussions.

For instance under section 63 of the Ministry of Works and Transport act states, “Any body who destroys the road in form of littering it, burning the road, damaging bridges and obstruction of the road commits an offence.”

Enanga said, “People who are always encouraged to come and participate in these riots now should know for instance under the destruction of the road section 64, a person is liable on conviction to imprisonment of five years or pay 2.4 million shillings.”

Adding that “Some of the youths who are given five thousand shillings to come and riot can not even afford these monies so they could end up rotting in prison.”

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