Police in Kagadi District in western Uganda are holding an immigration and customs enforcement officer who allegedly cleared 20 Congolese nationals to enter Uganda after President Museveni ordered the closure of all boarders.
The presidential directive was announced on national televisions and radios as an added precaution to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus after Uganda registered its first case.
Police said after the president’s directive, an immigration officer stationed at the Uganda – Congo boarder in Kagadi district cleared 20 Congolese nationals to enter Uganda.
The Congolese nationals who were reportedly sailing in a canoe boat arrived at Kitebere landing site in Ndaiga Sub County in Kagadi District on Saturday night.
“We were tipped off by covert intelligence officers and we rounded the Congolese up as soon as they landed. After being interrogated, they revealed the immigration officer who cleared them to enter,” said Mr Julius Hakiza, the Albertine regional police spokesperson.
The Congolese nationals have been isolated at Ndaiga health centre III.
The 42-year-old immigration officer is detained at Kagadi police station, according to Mr Hakiza.
In the centre of the continent, DR Congo locked down its second city Lubumbashi for 48 hours on Monday and deployed security forces. Streets were deserted and stores were closed, an AFP journalist said.
The move came after two people with coronavirus arrived on Sunday on a flight from the capital Kinshasa.
The DRC has recorded 30 cases of coronavirus since March 10, two of them fatalities.
In a related development, police conducted several patrols and arrested 20 people in Hoima who were found drinking in bars.
The president had earlier ordered for the closure of bars and other social gathering places.
Mr Hakiza said the 20 suspects were picked from different bars in Hoima town and they are detained at Hoima central police station.
“We arrested whoever we landed on in bars. We are currently screening them to remain with bar owners and managers because they deliberately disobeyed the Presidential directive,” Mr Hakiza said.