Members of parliament want the 9pm-4.30am curfew lifted, saying it is no longer relevant since the COVID-19 vaccination has commenced, and that Uganda has also made great strides in combatting the spread of the virus.
The matter of national importance was raised during plenary by Gilbert Olanya the Kilak South MP who says that the curfew is being used to violate rights of Ugandans, curtail mothers and women who are coming from the market and extort money from Ugandans.
According to Olanya, the curfew needs to be lifted since it is being misused by the security officers to extort money from businesses and locals.
"Roadblocks are being mounted everywhere, after 9 pm anyone stopped at the roadblock, that person must part with money…The curfew time is doing more harm to Ugandans than good. My prayer is that government should stop the police officers from extorting money from the community. Secondly, government should really disband the so-called curfew. Rt. Hon. speaker you are aware that big markets are open, workshops are going on in fact people are going on with their normal life. Why is this curfew time still being implemented," Olanya said.
Herbert Kinobere the Kibuku County MP says for violating the curfew, Ugandans are being tied with their hands at the back with ropes, bringing back memories of slave trade. He says the arrested persons are only released after paying money to the security officers.
"You find them squatting and waiting for what? The issue is they don’t take the people arrested to the police station. You call your relative, they come with money [and] you’re released. Their bonds are always at night. The minister should come out and clarify whether we have the curfew and the police officers manning the curfew," said Kinobere.
Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa says that last week on Wednesday she presented a petition from the private sector on the curfew, and cabinet tasked the national task force on COVID-19 to review the standard operating procedure on COVID-19 including the curfew.
"The manner in which the curfew is being managed. This was after the presentation from the ministry of Health on the progress of COVID-19, and madam speaker cabinet decided that the national Taskforce of COVID-19 sits and reviews all those standard operating procedures to make sure that some of them are withdrawn because we’re progressing very well," Nankabirwa said.
The speaker Rebecca Kadaga questioned the relevance of curfew at this time, saying this matter should be handled quickly. She says it is really disturbing that even when one goes upcountry they have to spend the night there since they can't return at night.
She says that there is no need to contain people's movement anymore as it touches on the human rights of Ugandans. She tasked government to come with an answer next Tuesday.
"Hon minister this is a matter that is really urgent, we don’t think we need to meet for very long over the matter. It is a clear matter. What is the use of the curfew now? There’s isn’t. There is no need to confine people anymore. So update us before the end of next week," Kadaga said.
Cyrus Aogon the Kumi Municipality MP says that it is time to remove the curfew and allow Ugandans to recover from the economic hardships brought about by the lockdown.