DPP in Dilemma Over Drunkards’ Prosecution

Fears are growing over the prosecution of hundreds, potentially even a million people culpable of behaving in a manner likely to spread a dangerous disease, but are not willing to go down alone.

Troubles started with last Saturday night’s arrest of twelve revelers including some VVIPS at the Golf Club who spent the rest of the night and most of Sunday in the cells at Central Police Station Kampala until they got police bond around 4.00pm.  The detained twelve were infuriated that many more of their accomplices in disobeying the president’s directives and the Ministry of Health’s guidelines on Covid-19 who were at the Golf Club that night and some even more drunk than them were allowed to escape by the police officers who busted them.

The angry twelve, who include a couple of journalists, started threatening the CPS officers that they would squeal the minute they are taken to court, and shout the names of the bigger government people they were drinking with in violation of the president’s directive. Although the file was ready on Sunday and was being perused by a State Attorney since Monday morning, nothing has happened as yet.

The spokesersons in the city, Commissioner Fred Enanga himself and KMP deputy spokesman Luke Oweyesigire have been downplaying the matter and even denying the presence of senior government officials in the group that was busted. But sources indicate that the matter is not only a hot potato but it has also put the new Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions in a dilemma because over a thousand people have been arrested in Kampala alone and many of them charged since the president renewed the measures against the spread of Covid-19 and maintained the ban on drinking in bars.

Now the AG and DPP have to take a stand as ‘big people’ being let go by police as their drink mates get arrested because the principle of all being equal before the Law is being put to question.

The Saturday bust up started when Deputy Inspector General of Police ordered KMP commander Moses Kafeero to raid the gold club after getting too many calls of people complaining about the violations there. However when the club was raided, the twelve people taken to the cells started making a lot of noise and acting a bit like frustrated teenagers, have been threatening to expose their partners who were not arrested unless they too have their charges dropped.

The fear is that more of Kampala boozing middle class are going to start regarding the arrest as discriminatory, yet the fight against Covid-19 is a non-political emergency. The public is looking up to the DPP, to give some direction in the matter.

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