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EXPOSED! How Mutukula border police officers are reaping big from Ugandans returning to the country

Following spike in COVID-19 transmission in Uganda, the ministry of health on August 27, 2020 noted that beginning September 2020, it will start charging organizations and individuals for COVID-19 testing despite multi-billion donations from both local and international bodies.

Among the groups ministry said would pay for testing included truck drivers entering into Uganda, individuals seeking to know their COVID-19 status, companies and government entities that wish to test their staff for purposes of prevention– will all pay testing charges.

Others included Ugandans returning from abroad and visitors arriving into the country from other countries. Each person charged Shs 240,500 and this commenced on September 1.

Ten days after implementation of the initiative, immigration authorities and Police at Tanzania-Uganda Mutukula border in-coordination with some ministry of health officials are already minting money from troubled Ugandans coming from abroad via Tanzania airlines since Entebbe airport is still closed, whom they test and force into their designated quarantine centres at the border.

“It is now very hard to test a person and they tell him/her that he is negative since more positives is their source of money that they generate by camping both negative and positive patients since they mind about filling their quarantine centres for money not people’s lives” a source at the border said.

Our investigators have also established that since now its mandatory for all entrants to pay shs240,500 for the first test and wait for 14 days while sleeping in the officials’ owned hotels that are designated at the border, Kabale and other bordering districts, after spending a fortnight, police with MoH officials squeeze patients again to pay another 240,500 to confirm whether they are still positive or turned negative, which is alleged that before their quarantine centres are full, they can’t let any patient go.

We have since learnt that Police are extracting a lot of money at a bonanza pace targeting mostly a group of Ugandans coming from UAE countries who dock in Tanzania and decide to use land transport into Uganda over Entebbe’s closure.

“In their target, they believe that Ugandans from UAE have a lot of money and therefore when they tell you to pay and you refuse, they get other means to torture you till you pay them both the COVID-19 fee or their bribe and they let you go immediately even if you are positive,” a source said at the border.

Our investigations landed us to a one of the culprits Mr. Ategeka Peter Kamuhanda who came from Dubai via TZ. On arrival at Mutukula he was first arrested, detained for two days, robbed off his property that included his personal belongings like phones among others allegedly by the Police officers who received him and later bunched him into Mutukula Police post on charges of ‘illegal’ entry into the country and inciting violence but in real sense according to our sources, is arrested because of failure to pay for their private quarantine centres and bribe.

Receipt Confirming Payment For COVID-19 Tests.

Few minutes after noting Ategeka’s pain he is going through over Governments servants, our investigator was alerted that there is another victim known as Kulumba Godfrey who was brutalized and beaten by police over the same scenario of refusing to pay police bribe since he was also a Dubai returnee whom they suspected to have all the money they needed.

“I also came from Dubai last week, when i reached at border, police with MoH officials told me to pay for the 200,000 bribe and later pay 240500 COVID-19 testing fee which i didn’t have and to them it sounded as if i have refused intentionally they tortured me to near death and later dropped me here at Mutukula police post and opened on me charges over inciting violence, illegal entry into the country” Kulumba confessed.

Mr Kulumba Godfrey Another Returnee Who Was Brutalized By The Police Officers After Refusing To Pay Their 200000 Bribe and Later The Same Officers Attached To Mutukula Police Post Charged Him Of Beating Them.

However, Kulumba says, days after in detention he was surprised to find on top of the above charges, they added against him that it’s him instead who beat up the police officers to pulp. Meanwhile, as he was still explaining the torture he has passed through to our investigative reporter, one of the police officers arrived to check whether he had accepted to pay at least the “special shs 200,000 which is the ‘officer’s fee’ (police bosses manning the border), or not and stay under detention.

One of the Officers Yet To Be Identified Who Squeeze Returnees To Pay For Private Quarantine Centres And Later Get Commission From The Owners Of The Hotels. The More people You Force Into The Hotel, The More Commission

In an interview with one of the local online publications, TheSpy Uganda, ministry of health spokesperson Mr Ainebyona Emmanuel said that all those entering the country are supposed to pay for only COVID-19 tests and ministry is not aware of any additional fee like that of police officers milk from Ugandans.

Ainebyona added that still it is not mandatory to be taken into a private quarantine centre since they understand that there’re those who cannot afford such charges, hence a reason they reserved public centres meant to be used by such categories of people.

Contrary to Ainebyona’s explanation, when Ategeka explained to the immigration officers that he had no money for their forceful quarantine and requested to be taken to Entebbe public quarantine centres, corrupt, unscrupulous and greedy police officers refused and gave him an ultimatum of hours to pay their 200,000 bribe or COVID-19 fees.

After failure to raise their requested amount of money, him and Kulumba Godfrey were both rushed into Mutukula police post cells, where they are waiting to be arraigned before court over charges of beating police officers, inciting violence and illegal entry into the country.

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