43 men who were jailed for violating presidential directives on preventing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been cautioned and released by the court.
The victims were arrested from different parts of Wakiso district, and charged with doing an act that is most likely to spread an infectious disease before the Kakiri chief magistrate Moses Baligeya Mufumbiro.
Today, the same magistrate appeared at Buganda Road court to preside over the matter in a session that was connected to Kitalya government prison via video conferencing.
The court heard that within the months of March, April and May this year, the accused persons were found in bars and loitering on various streets in Wakiso district during curfew hours.
The curfew has been running every day since March from 7 pm to 6.30 am as the government enforced a lockdown to limit person to person interactions, which is known to be a stimulant for the spread of the virus. During this period, the government closed all bars, banned transport and public gatherings in order to forestall the spread of the disease.
In the aftermath, several people were arrested for defying presidential directives. The group that appeared in the court today pleaded guilty to the charges but was accordingly remanded about two months ago pending sentencing.
The state attorney Isaac Mutebi asked the court to give them a befitting sentence arguing that they are first time offenders and have not wasted court’s time. The magistrate sentenced them to caution.
The pardoned persons were seen kneeling to appreciate the magistrate and others broke down in tears.