By Daniel Mwesigwa
In Hoima, 3 people have been arrested for theft, forgery and utterance of falsified COVID-19 vaccination cards.
The preliminary facts indicate that on the 6.01.2022, the police were tipped about a suspect who was vending the Ministry of Health, vaccination cards at 50.000 shillings each to unvaccinated people.
As a result, a trap was set-up and the culprit who was identified as Bigirwa Ivan, a 34-year-old, cleaner at Butema Health Centre III, in Hoima district arrested.
Upon interrogation, he admitted to selling genuine vaccination cards to unvaccinated people within Hoima district.
He further revealed his accomplices as Enyong Emmanuel, a Health Assistant and Aheebwa Rhoda the in-charge Butema Health centre III, who supplied him with the vaccination cards. He would then proceed to sell them and insert names, dates and phones, vaccination dates for the unvaccinated buyers.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed the arrest, and said that: “The public should know that the vaccination card is a valuable document amidst the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. A number of governments have started adopting it as a requirement to get into certain work places. The strict rules for the unvaccinated, could have given opportunity for fake and falsified COVID-19 vaccination cards.
Our task team is expanding investigations into the matter. We are also at a national level taken interest into concerns surrounding the manufacturing and forgery of COVID-19 vaccination cards with electronic devices especially along Nasser road and other places.”
“The perpetrators have gone underground, but we shall definitely round them up. We want to warn the public, especially unvaccinated but eligible persons and unscrupulous dealers that using fake COVID-19 vaccination cards bearing the Ministry of Health Logo is a crime,” Enanga added.
Therefore, Enanga noted: “all those found with fake or falsified COVID-19 vaccination cards should know that they are in serious breach of the COVID-19 protocols and must be prepared to face serious punishments for conspiracy, forgery, utterance of false documents and for negligent acts likely to cause the spread of an infectious disease.”
“For those who are not aware, all Ministry of Health vaccination cards are stored in the database. We shall therefore, be conducting proof of vaccination, from the digital vaccine verification database, once it is activated,” Enanga observed.