A ride through the famously busy streets of Kampala at around 6 pm would naturally tell you that the good days are long gone.
Following the announcement of new stringent measures by the President to control the spread of coronavirus Monday, many things have drastically changed.
Among the new measures, President Yoweri Museveni suspended the use of any form of private transport and also declared a curfew that will run from 7pm to 6am everyday for 14 days.
Following the presidential directive, the buzzing commotion for which the city is known for started to disappear, making one to think they have visited an upcountry town in the war ravaged Libya whose inhabitants were tragically swallowed by the sophisticated NATO misiles.
On Tuesday evening, I was among the lucky few who happened to enjoy the luxury of passing through the city after 7pm when the curfew announced by the President started.
The tough faces of men donned in military fatigue were so scaring, let alone the loud voices crying for help as the military, the only legal street occupants lifted batoons and whips above the heads of their prey, with people running between streets in terror as the military pursued them.
All terrified, but the remembrance that by my side was a senior police officer gave me confidence to look on.
By the time we reached at Uganda House, it was 7:30 and the only people you would see are a combination of the Uganda Police and the army, majorly the Local Defence Unit.
Towards Bank of Uganda, a group of police and UPDF officers gesture for us to stop and perhaps explain ourselves over defying the President’s directive. Two officers come close to the driver’s window and before asking any questions, we are asked to leave perhaps after seeing the police raincoat resting on the back of the driver’s seat.
” We are very sorry Afande. Reach well sir,” they unanimously addressed the officer in the vehicle with me as they put one on the part of the head just above of the ear and standing at ease.
Similar interactions with the military resurfaced on about 10 times between Kampala road, Wandegeya and through to Nakulabye in Rubaga Division.
All shops were closed and at certain points, you would hear the sound of a needle dropping on the ground. There was no traffic on the road, both cars and motor cycles which would all induce a feeling of despair as people wondered whether the good times will ever return.
On Monday,President Museveni announced that nobody would be allowed outdoor beyond 7 pm beginning on Tuesday 31 during his address to the nation, before emphasising a day later that those found breaching the directive would face arrest and detention with no option of bail.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus have hit 44 jumping from the 33 that had been announced two days ago. The 11 new cases are members of Watoto children choir, who reportedly contracted the disease on music tour in UK.
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