Police have on Saturday arrested and detained at least 17 people including a South Sudanese Senior government official on allegations of smoking tobacco in public places.
Police reveals one of the suspects identified himself as a South Sudanese minister and have been detained at Kabalagala Police Division.
“He (the minister) only identified himself in the morning during suspects’ parade. He has been released after establishing his particulars,” Police spokesman, Mr Luke Owoyesigyire said
Sources within the police told info256 that the suspect will not be arraigned in court in order to avoid ruining the diplomatic relationship between the two neighbouring countries.
Sources further stated that, Police on Saturday evening raided Kampala Forest, De Posh and Savanah bars and arrested the suspects.
Mr Owoyesigyire said the other suspects are to be arraigned in court on Monday on charges of selling and smoking tobacco contrary to Section 16 (7) of the Tobacco Control Act.
According to the Tabacco Control Act, a person convicted of smoking or selling tobacco in a public area is liable to a jail term not less than one year or a fine of Shs480,000 or both.
The owner of the bar in which the tobacco was smoked can be fined Shs20m and his or her licence suspended for at least six months.
Shisha smoking is very common in Kampala especially among youth and many bars and entertainment places in the country are selling it despite the ban.