South Sudan’s minister arrested in anti-tobacco operation in Uganda

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigyire. Photo:

Kampala, January 6, 2019 (SSNA) — The Ugandan police forces have  arrested a South Sudanese minister on Saturday after they conducted raids in three bars this weekend, the Kampala-based Monitor newspaper reported.

Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman said the minister was arrested in one of the bars after he was found smoking in public but declined to identify the minister by name. The police also added that the official in question has been released.

“He only identified himself in the morning during suspects’ parade. He has been released after establishing his particulars,” Luke explained.

The newspaper says the minister is unlikely to face charges because the Ugandan government does not want to ruin its diplomatic relation with the South Sudanese government.

The bars that were raided by police were Savanah, Forest, and De Posh. It is not clear which bar the minister was caught smoking.

The Ugandan police state that they were enforcing the 2015 Tobacco Control Act popularly known in Uganda as the Shisha Act which calls for anyone caught smoking in public to be jailed for less than one year or fine of about $130 US dollars.

It is widely known in South Sudan that most senior South Sudanese government officials and ministers like to show off their wealth in Ugandan hotels and bars and own expensive houses and cars in Uganda.

The South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) was unable to identify the detained minister. However, a video leaked to the SSNA reveals that an individual by the name Simon Duop Puok could be the minister in question. An investigation conducted by the South Sudan News Agency discloses that Simon Duop works as Maiwut State’s Minister of Rural Development.

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