Fourteen people [civilians] who were arrested from Agwata sub-county in Dokolo district on 25 March, 2020 for defying Presidential directive on curfew were “softly and humanely punished”.
They were arrested late in the night from different drinking joints in Agwata by a joint security team.
However, according to Dokolo RDC, Lawrence Emmy Egole they were set free because Dokolo Courts are currently not functional and the mandatory 48 hours for suspects to be in detention before charging them had elapsed.
“Our Law court is not working. The judge got caught up in Kampala due to the lockdown; the Resident State Attorney (RSA) also got locked-down in Jinja. We could not defy the mandatory requirement that a suspect in custody be charged within 48 hours or should be released. We released them,” RDC Egole told TND News in an interview on Wednesday evening.
“We decided that the punishment we could give them was to make them walk back to their homes because public transport was already banned. They walked from Dokolo Town to Agwata were they were arrested and for us that was enough punishment,” he added.
The distance from Dokolo Town to Agwata is 21 kilometres.
The RDC said in Dokolo, “we do not allow beating people and the people of Dokolo know that we don’t beat them.”
“The reason they [Dokolo people] are afraid to commit crimes is because when we find you committing an offence, we endeavour to chase after you, arrest you and take you to Court,” he added.
He further explained that the reason Dokolo is silent “is because they don’t want to go to Court”.
“When you make people get used to beating, they think you will just beat and set them free. But that is what we have refused in Dokolo. There is no beating people; we take you to Court when found committing an offence.”
So far, he says 28 people have been taken to Court in Lira and they are remanded in Kwania district.