A police operation in Kampala to arrest people smoking tobacco in public places on Saturday night netted 17, including a government minister of the Republic of South Sudan.
According to Luke Owoyesigire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, the crackdown took place in popular bars such as De Posh in Kabalagala, Savannah as an implementation of the recently passed Tobacco Control Act.
Following the night operation, all the culprits were dumped at the police cells of Kabalagala Police Division until Sunday morning when they were paraded for questioning. It was during the parading that the police learnt that one of the suspects was in fact, a minister in the South Sudanese governmemt.
“He (the minister) only identified himself in the morning during suspects’ parade and has been released [on diplomatic grounds] after establishing his particulars,” Owoyesigire confirmed.
The rest of the suspects will be arraigned in court on Monday on charges of selling and smoking tobacco contrary to Section 16 (7) of the Tobacco Control Act.