Police Penalize over 32,000 Businesses for Violating Emergency Rule

ADDIS ABEBA – Police in Addis Abeba said it has taken legal action against more than 32,000 businesses and 439,600 individuals for violating COVID-19 state emergency rule.

The government imposed the emergency rule in March to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed 550 Ethiopians.

The emergency rule bans public gathering of more than four people and landlords from evicting tenants or increasing rents, among many others.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Addis Abeba Police Commission said, since the emergency law came to into effect, they have taken legal actions on 32,500 businesses and 98,657 drivers.

The actions range from closing down the business to penalize them based on the law, according to the police.

Most of the institutions such as bars, video houses were found in violation of the provision that limits a gathering of people.

Addis Ababa light railway company was among the violators, according to the Commission.

Police also said they have taken actions on 67 house owners for evicting occupants from rented homes and 73 others for increasing rent fee.

Over 439,600 individuals have been arrested and prosecuted for violating various regulations since the emergency law enacted.

The charges include negligence of wearing masks, holding meetings, and gathering for worship beyond the limited number.

Addis Ababa Police Commission announced that it will continue to take action against institutions that allow the spread of the virus by violating the law put in place to curb COVID-19.

As of Monday, Ethiopia’s capital confirmed 19, 881 cases of coronavirus after testing more than 300, 000 people.

By Sisay Sahlu