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No, cash fines for violating Covid-19 rules not in place in Uganda – beware of fake notice

A notice posted on a popular Facebook group claims police in Uganda will fine people caught breaking Covid-19 rules. 

Posted on 12 June 2021 in a group with over 116,000 followers, the notice is dated 10 June and bears the logo of Uganda’s police force

It reads: “BE WARNED. OFFICIAL COVID-19 GUIDELINES VIOLATION. CASH FINES!!!!” It says perpetrators will face cash fines from USh100,000 to USh250,000 (from US$28 to $70). 

In an address on 6 June Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said any Ugandans breaking Covid-19 restrictions should be fined.

“Violation of these measures will lead to fines that will be given out soon in a Statutory Instrument signed by the Permanent Secretary (PS) Treasury,” he said. ‘Those who do not care about the health of Ugandans will pay financially.” 

But is the notice circulating on social media genuine? We checked.


Fines not implemented – yet

The notice does not appear on the verified Facebook and Twitter pages of the Ugandan police.

On 11 June, the police posted the notice with a red “FAKE NEWS” label across it on Twitter.

Please ignore this fake news. Police has no instrument in place yet, to implement this. Until then, don’t be caught on the wrong side of the law. Observe [standard operating procedures], adhere to curfew guidelines, keep safe,” read the tweet. 

The treasury has developed new guidelines and it has been reported that these were submitted to the health ministry. But the notice circulating on Facebook is not from the Ugandan police and is untrue.

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