MALABA – The COVID-19 Inter-Agency Security Joint Task Force (IAJTF) Chaired by Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda has completed the inspection of key border posts with recurring reports of non-compliance to COVID-19 guidelines issued by the government.
The team that first visited Malaba and Elegu has on Sunday, May 31 completed the last leg of the inspection after a four-day visit to Mutukula, Mirama hills, Cyanika, Bunagana, and Mpondwe border posts.
Maj Gen Kyanda said the purpose of the visits were to interface with the Regional Task Forces in a bid to draw solutions to the problems affecting the implemention of the government anti COVID-19 directives on border closure and Cargo trucks movement.
He observed that from the interactions with the task force, some of the challenges they faced were related to Coordination.
“In a place like Malaba, every agency did the right thing but there was little coordination. Things have since moved on smoothly after we met the teams,” Maj Gen Kyanda said, adding that other places such as Mutukula had less challenges due to close coordination by all the actors.
“Our interactions with the field teams were very important. We have been able to put some issues right on the spot,” he said. He added that a report would be written to the strategic leadership for action on issues beyond the reach of the Task Force.
He said a key recurring issue in all the regions is violence against security agencies, something he strongly condemned. He, however, called on the security members to always exercise restraint when under such situations but not be cowed.
“Do not allow the State to be subdued by such peoples. Appropriately employ the law and your rules of engagement to ensure we protect our people from situations that may lead to increased spread of COVID-19. Make sure such people are arrested and charged,” said Maj Gen Kyanda.
The General further observed that despite considerable deployment by UPDF along the borderline, kinship relationship and interdependence of communities along the porous borders has made it hard to implement border closure.
“Nevertheless, we have done our best and intercepted thousands of people trying to cross the borderlines especially through the hard to reach spots,” he said.
The IAJTF comprises of the UPDF, Police, Prisons, Joint Intelligence committee, Uganda Revenue Authority, and Immigrations. The IAJTF often co-opts members from Ministries, Agencies and Departments for specific tasks.