Police issues tight security guidelines for New Year celebrations

Enanga and Luke Owoyesigyire, the deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, addressing journalists at Naguru yesterday. Photo by Alfred Ochwo

The Police have issued guidelines for the New Year festivities. Following the recent terrorist attacks in Somalia, security will be beefed up in crowded places, the Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said.

“There will be both overt and covert officers deployed, use of CCTV and other automated and scientific methods as part of our security masterplan to thwart any threats as people celebrate the end of the year, Enanga said yesterday during a weekly police briefing at Naguru in Kampala.

Enanga added: “There will be a visible security presence, with Police patrols working to deter, detect and disrupt hostile conduct.”

Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday suffered a massive car bomb explosion that left at least 79 people dead and scores injured. At least 16 of those killed were students from the capital’s private Banadir University.

These were traveling on a bus when the car bomb detonated at a busy intersection southwest of the Somali capital. Scores of the wounded were carried on stretchers from the scene, where the force of the explosion left charred.

No one has claimed the attack, but Mogadishu is regularly hit by car bombings and attacks waged by the al- Shabaab Islamist militants, who have fought for more than a decade to topple the Somali government Enanga warned the public against burning tires and firing bullets in the air as part of the New Year celebrations.

Anybody who does so risks arrest, he said. He also warned that anyone found burning tires will face charges of rogue and vagabond and disobedience of lawful orders.

According to the Penal Code Act, a person who commits the act is liable to a jail term ranging from six months to one year.

“Despite warnings over burning tires, people have continued doing it, but we shall be strict this time. We shall also look at the incident and find out whether it is inciteful to the public or not,” Enanga warned.

He said fireworks materials must not exceed 1.5mm caliber, the display should be for only five minutes and fireworks operators are directed to supply 10 fire extinguishers, properly tagged and functioning.

Enanga said fireworks must not exceed five minutes past midnight because some people have heart complications and criminals may use it as a cover to commit a crime. He also said the aerial displays must not include free-floating devices or shells less than three inches in diameters.

“People should not go swimming unless they are in a patrolled area. The lifeguards involved in rescue should have information including age, swimming ability, weather, and water conditions. We do appeal to the public to follow instructions on signboards and listen to lifeguards posted to all beaches,” Enanga advised.

According to the Police, 1,104 fireworks displays are expected in different parts of the country and only six contractors have been granted permission.

The Police spokesperson said they will target alcohol-related crime, anti-social behavior and anyone putting other people’s lives at risk

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Muwanga Ronald is editor in chief of the UGANDANZ news website. He was formerly editorial director of UGANDANZ.COM, overseeing the publication’s digital operations. Before joining UGANDANZ in December 2018, Ronald was managing editor of NILE HOST In 2014, he was a finalist for the UJA Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the women's emancipation. Under his leadership NILE HOST won Media Industry Newsletter's Best of the Web award in 2018. A graduate of Makerere University, Ronald speaks Luganda and French and lives in Kampala with his wife and two children.