NEBBI. The King of Alur, His Highness Phillip Olarker Rauni III has banned customary marriage (Keny) ceremonies and rituals until further notice following the increasing cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Uganda.

In his directive to the chiefs on Tuesday, the King noted that if this cannot be avoided, only the parents of the parties should attend without the number exceeding 10 and should not be for more than 6 hours.

Olarker also banned cultural rituals, communal farming commonly known as Koya, communal eating and traditional dances (Agwara).

He equally noted that there shall be no activities of traditional healers and their medicine until further notice.

“All the people of Alur Kingdom must observe these and other guidelines and directives that may be issued from time to time by the President, ministry of health, health agencies and Alur Kingdom,” he said.

Mr Vincent Ochaya Orach, the Alur Kingdom Prime Minister said the King’s directive will be implemented with the State position on COVID-19 and all should be vigilant.

“I call upon all chiefs, Alur elders, the women, the youth and all other people living in Alur land to desist from all forms of public gathering and strictly adhere to the President’s directive at all times,” Ochaya said.

Ochaya observed that his biggest concern is that he has seen locals in Pakwach, Zombo and Nebbi doing business normally yet coronavirus is real and killing people around the world.

“In Uganda, cases have been registered and it is more worrying given the lifestyle in our villages,” he stressed.

The Prime Minister advised everyone in the Kingdom to strictly observe the directives from the King and particularly, the State position by the President on the need for hygienic and healthy living while staying at home all the time.

He asked men to take care of their wives, children and siblings while the youth should desist from roaming in towns and along roadsides doing nothing.

While addressing the nation on COVID-19 at Nakasero State House on Tuesday, President Yoweri Museveni threatened to revoke licenses of traders who have taken advantage of the pandemic to hike commodity prices.

So far, nine cases of coronavirus have been registered in Uganda with no death yet.