Residents of Arua have castigated Uganda police officers in the area for extorting money from some disco and bar operators in exchange for protection.
President Yoweri Museveni closed all bars and discotheques when he put the country on lockdown in March 2020. However, some bar owners have been operating with help from police officers who instead of arresting, have instead been protecting them from the law.
Now, local leaders in Arua accuse the police of failing to stop entertainment places from operating despite a ban by the government in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Presidential guidelines, only restaurants should be operating, not bars.
However, local leaders note that some bars, clubs and entertainment places are allowed to operate with protection from the police which is in total disregard to the night-time curfew.
Marlon Avutia the LCIII Chairman of Pajulu sub-county in Arua said during a council meeting last week, that they have engaged police from Arua CPS in operations to stop bars and entertainment places from operating, but they are let down by the conduct of some police officers who are given money.
However, Josephine Angucia the Police spokesperson for West Nile denies the accusations and urges members of the public to report such cases to the commanders for appropriate action.
West Nile Police Professional Standards Unit commander Evans Vuata also urged the public to report any misconduct by any police officers.
Residents claim that some police officers also act as informers who tip the proprietors of any planned operations.