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Ugandan MP arrested for distributing relief food amid lockdown

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Kampala. Police in Mityana District, Uganda on Sunday evening arrested Mityana Municipality legislator Francis Zaake for allegedly distributing food to his starving constituents.

The Wamala region police spokesperson, Rachel Kawala, said the MP was arrested on allegations of distributing food items to constituents in Buswabulongo, Busimbi Division in Mityana municipality contrary to the presidential directives.

Police said the MP had also flouted measures and guidelines of the Covid-19 national taskforce, led by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, on food distribution to vulnerable people.

“Today evening at 6 pm, we arrested the honourable Member of Parliament and he is kept in our custody at Mityana central police station for defying the president’s directives,” Ms Kawala said.

She said more details would be provided later by police spokesperson Fred Enanga.

The MP’s arrest comes hours after he posted that it was his conviction that government could still deal with starvation without “thieving” from the poor.

This photo tweeted by Mityana Municipality MP
This photo tweeted by Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake on April 19 shows soldiers at his home. The Mp was arrested for allegedly distributing food to his starving constituents

“I have been clandestinely giving out relief food items to my constituents, this I will not stop doing. In the same spirit, today we have successfully shared more food items in Mityana,” he said.

About four hours later, the MP tweeted that his home had been raided by security operatives.

“The tormentors have broken into my home, they are breaking every door of my house searching to arrest me for the crime of sharing food with starving people. Sad!” he said.

In a televised address recently, President Yoweri Museveni said politicians who distribute food to starving Ugandans during the virus lockdown face attempted murder charges.

The president said whoever wanted to contribute relief items ought to hand them over to the national taskforce.

On Sunday afternoon, Mr Zaake was seen moving door to door distributing food to his constituents.

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