The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja has condemned abuse of government property after a police officer was captured in a video using a police van to transport members of the public who were stranded on the road contrary to a ban on public transport.
Nabbanja’s remarks follow public outrage that erupted from a recorded video that went viral on social media where a police driver identified as Christopher Opio was captured transporting passengers from Kole district, enroute to his home district in Alebtong.
“I have noted with concern a video circulating on social media showing a police van transporting citizens at a cost. We are investigating the allegations and if found to be true, the culprits will face the law. Let’s be vigilant and report criminality,” she tweeted.
On Friday night, President Museveni directed a ban on public transport all over the country to help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus, noting that the movement of individuals fuels the virus transmission and without limiting the movement of persons, there will be more infections.
Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said Opio had been apprehended and taken into custody for misuse of a van.
“As the police, we strongly condemn the actions of our driver, which serves to undermine our enforcement efforts in the fight against Covid-19 in the country. The shameful act is also in direct contrast with our fleet management protocols, where all police drivers are directed to park their vehicles at their work stations,” said Enanga in a statement.
He noted that the errant driver who is attached to the public relations department did not adhere to the force instructions.
“We want to thank the public for recording and sharing the video on such acts of gross misconduct by officers. Police is a disciplined force, which does not condone any misuse of its fleet, more so during a critical period of the pandemic, where a good percentage of our fleet including buses, lorries, vans and motorcycles are redirected towards the enforcement of the Covid-19 measures,” Enanga said.
He said that the driver was immediately tracked down, as soon as the video footage came to their attention, and arrested.
He said the officer is being charged with scandalous behaviour, which attracts a dismissal, disobedience of lawful orders and acting negligently in a manner likely to spread the virus.