Three primary school teachers, a government military officer attached to Bombo Military headquarters at a rank of a lieutenant and secondary school students were among some 238 people apprehended Wednesday by security operatives in an operation code-named ‘Curtailing early morning alcoholism in Uganda’s Manafwa District,’ Daily Monitor reported Friday morning.
According to reports, the suspects were found either drinking alcohol, gambling or watching films between 8am to 6pm, the official hours for work, which according to security officials are inappropriate for the activities.
Daily Monitor says the security group led by the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Moses Wamoto, also confiscated gambling machines in the trading centres of Lwakhakha, Bumbo, Kufu, Bukhaweka, Magale, Butiru, Bugobero and Manafwa, and the chinese proprietors were apprehended.
Mr Wamoto told Daily Monitor that his security team carried out the operation after receiving complaints from parents, teachers and the general public in the area that petty theft had soared and that children spend school time watching movies in various cinema halls and gambling.
“I was concerned after receiving numerous complaints that early morning drinking among local residents in Manafwa District was rampant. I was also told that gambling shops had been opened by Chinese nationals and were fleecing locals who had resorted to petty theft of items like chicken, livestock, food products and household items in order to finance both gambling and boozing and that children were no longer attending lessons as they spend class time in cinema halls,” Mr Wamoto reportedly said.
He ordered that pupils found in cinema halls be screened and each caned two strokes before being handed over to their respective schools for further disciplinary action.
The proprietors of cinema halls, gambling shops and drinking joints including their clients, were screened and are currently being detained at Manafwa District Police headquarters on charges described by police as vagabond, idle and disorderly.