Crime & Investigation

POPE FRANCIS: Police Dismisses Foiled Terror Reports

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga

Ahead of the arrival of His Holiness Pope Francis this evening, healing Police has issued tougher security measure that will be strictly followed at the Namugongo shrines where the Pope will hold a mass on Saturday.

These are in addition to the traffic and security guidelines issued earlier this week in which some roads will be closed and traffic directed to alternative routes away from the venues that the Pontiff will be at during his three days stay.

“We would like to inform all pilgrims and the general public that they will be subjected to thorough security before accessing the papal events at Namugongo and Kololo Independence Ceremonial grounds respectively, order ” revealed the Police spokesperson Fred Enanga on Friday morning in a statement.

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“The public pilgrims may face some temporary inconveniences, for which they are advised to come early, to allow additional time, for security screening.”

While this might be the same process, as the annual Matyrs Day on June 3rd, Enanga noted that this visit is unique and an event of special interest to national security due to the international and symbolic value it holds.

Among the outlined safety measures, Police have a number of items at the venues which include firearms and ammunitions [either real or simulated]; explosives of any kind, including fireworks; knives, blades or sharp objects (of any length), including pocket or hand tools, pepper spray, sticks, poles or sign supports, glass containers, packages, backpacks, large bags and suitcases; thermoses or coolers, alcoholic beverages; animals, air horns [vuvuzelas], aerosol sprays, signs or posters, portable chairs [other than for disabled persons].

All areas in the papal schedule around Namugongo, Munyonyo and Kololo Enanga stressed, will be restricted to vehicular access from the 27th -29th November, 2015, apart from the VIP vehicles with stickers.

All parents and guardians have been advised to take extra care and consideration when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly or anyone with a weak immune system.

Arrival time

At Namugongo people were advised to arrive today on the eve of the papal event, or two hours before the ceremony on Saturday, 28th, November, 2015, and at Kololo Ceremonial Independence grounds by 8:00 am, the following day, Saturday, 28th, November, 2015, due to road closures and restricted entry.

According to organizers of the event at Namugongo, owing to ongoing works on the site, the venue will be open today at around midday.

Decent Dress

Enanga cautioned pilgrims against indecent dressing at the shrines and other venues that His Holiness the Pope will visit.

“There is no official dress code for the papal event; however, all pilgrims, visitors and the general public are advised to dress decently,” he said.

“They must also take considerations of the partly rainy season, standing over long periods of time; consider wearing comfortable shoes and or warm clothing.”

The public was also cautioned against bathing and drinking water from the manmade lake known as “Kayanja”, which is believed to contain holy water, due to hygienic concerns that can lead to diarrhea and cholera.


“All vendors are prohibited from all places where the Pope will be holding meetings and discussions. A designated area for trading is available, and will cater for all vending activities,” he added.

The region is set to benefit a great deal through facilities offered by the One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) in the EAC Partner States.

Already where the facilities are running bilaterally, ambulance there is facilitation of free movement of persons and the enhancement of trade between the Partner States, an EALA report adopted by the House states.

In the regard, regional legislators are calling for the fast-tracking of all remaining works of the OSBPs to allow its implementation for further integration.

At the same time, it is key for the assent of the OSBP Bill, 2013, in the Partner States to be finalised to give it legal effect in the entire region.

It has been stated that Partner States are implementing the OSBP Initiatives bilaterally as they await for completion of the Assent process.

At the moment, the Bill which was introduced by the Council of Ministers is in Rwanda for the final assent signature. Already, the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have assented to the Bill.

The recommendations are contained in a report of the Communication Trade and Investments (CTI) on the OSBPs in EAC Partner States debated and passed by the House.

The report was presented to the House by Hon. Nancy Abisai on behalf of the Committees Chair, Hon. Mukasa Mbidde.

EALA Members undertook an On-Spot Assessment on the One Stop Border Posts in EAC Partner States in the months of April and September 2015.

Phase one of the assessment covered OSBPs of Mutukula (Uganda/Tanzania), Mirama Hill/Kagitumba (Uganda/Rwanda) and Rusumo (Rwanda/Tanzania) on 8th to 11th April 2015. The second phase covered Lungalunga/HoroHoro (Kenya/Tanzania), Taveta/Holili (Kenya/Tanzania) and Namanga (Tanzania/Kenya) from 30th September to 3rd October 2015.

The objectives of the One–Spot assessment was to find out the status of implementation of the OSBP initiative project and its effect on the movement of people and the EAC business environment.

It also set to interact with stakeholders and identify opportunities and challenges affecting the implementation of effective OSBPs and to come up with relevant recommendations.

Stakeholders who participated in the On-Spot Assessments included Revenue Authorities, Immigration, Bureau of Standards, Police, Clearing and Forwarding Agents, and Traders. Others were Transporters, Local Authorities and Development Partners as well as officials from the EAC Secretariat.

One Stop Border Posts lessen days and facilitate inter-regional and international transport and road transit. According to analysts, when exiting one country and entering another, OSBPs combine two stops into one.

During the meetings, Members were informed that the construction of OSBPs were delayed at the Mutukula (Tanzania side) due to late handover of the site, power outages and floods among others. Mutukula on the Uganda side also had delays occasioned by re-designing challenges, delays in relocation of police posts occupying the area and delay in release of funds among others.

The OSBP on Mirama Hills, which was financed by TradeMark East Africa to the tune of USD 7.8 Million was however completed in time as was the facility at Kagitumba, Rwanda/Uganda border.

Construction at Rusumo border is expected to be concluded in time in December 2015. In Namanga, the Report indicates that construction on the Tanzania side has been completed even though not formally handed over due to a number of outstanding issues

Generally on all borders, there is limited knowledge on borders with regards to OSBPs, lack of operating manuals and inadequate water supply. In its findings, the report underscores training and sensitisation programs and the need for teamwork.

Hon. Straton Ndikuryayo said the Bill was key in ensuring trade facilitation. Hon. Bernard Mulengani said various basic amenities including school, water and housing were lacking and this may have impact on enhancing OSBPs. He further said Partner States were managing OSBPs on bilateral agreements and there was need to address the matter.

The Secretary-General of the EAC, Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera mentioned that the EAC Summit of EAC Heads of State was keen to assent to the Bills more efficiently.

“In the recent past, they have assented to Bills including the EAC HIV and AIDS Management Act, 2012, EAC Conflict Management Act, 2012, EAC Elections Act, 2012 and the EAC Community Emblems (Amendment) Act, 2008. Others are the Customs Management Amendment Act, 2012 and the EAC Supplementary Act, 2012,” he remarked.

The Secretary-General reiterated that the EAC OSBP Bill and the Vehicle Load Bill were currently in Rwanda on the last stop and that the process of assent was on.
Police has dismissed media reports that it is holding an Al Shabaab linked terrorist who was intercepted yesterday afternoon at Spear Motors along Jinja Road.

Contrary to media reports that a one Robert Wafula was netted aboard YY Coach Bus fleeing the city after a failed terror plot, story Police says three men were arrested and these were merely suspected robbers.

According the media report, the suspect was a part of a three-man team that was planning a hit on Kampala ahead of Pope Francis’ visit today.

Upon interrogation the report claims, the suspect informed the Police Flying Squad that the rest of the armed accomplices had already left the country through the eastern route to Kenya.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga however, revealed that the suspects who were arrested separately at Spear Motors and in Lugazi are believed to be part of a robbery gang.

“These were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rob a hotel in Mbale, with camouflaged clothing, before taking them into custody. They were travelling in two buses to avoid detection,” said Enanga.

“The police are conducting more expansive and detailed investigation surrounding the robbery plot, with a view of identifying for arrest, all suspects involved in the planning, preparation and execution of the mission, both in Kampala and Mbale.”

According to the Police mouthpiece, preliminary information indicates the plot was purely a crime of opportunity.

“Now that we are entering a festive season and long holiday, we are taking such crime seriously,” he said.

“We therefore call upon the public and specifically, business owners to be extra careful and vigilant and report any suspicious behavior at their work places and homes.”

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