Alfred Mugabi, a resident at the Maternity ward, says that despite the police patrols around the hive club, they have never stopped its illegal operations. He notes that the place also plays loud music every night.
At least four major
bars in Mukono municipality have continued with their normal operations despite
the suspension by the president on the activities of such places as part of the
COVID-19 containment measures.
They include Summer gardens at Wantoni, Kalabas Café and Green Gardens at Total village and The Hive Club at the maternity ward, which is patronized by government
and district officials. It is usually guarded
by police officers waiting outside for their
Summer gardens and Green Gardens offer bar services, sauna, steam bath and swimming, which attracts big
numbers of people regardless of their age. They operate from morning
up to midnight under police watch,
which has attracted concern from residents.
The decision by the police to look the
other way has also not gone down well with other bar owners observing the
suspension. URN has followed the operations of the affected bars for close to two
weeks and confirmed the allegations.
The bars attract hundreds of revellers
from Friday up to Sunday and fill up to capacity. The patrons engage in group dances, smoking shisha and swimming, while others celebrate birthday parties and baby showers.
Alfred Mugabi, a resident at the Maternity ward, says that despite the police patrols around the hive club, they have never
stopped its illegal operations. He notes that the place
also plays loud music every night.
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URN sought an audience with Dr Keefa Sempangi, the proprietor of Summer Gardens but he declined to talk about the various activities attracting a big population, saying it is something he will continuously monitor.
The managers of Kalabas Cafe and the Hive Club declined to speak, saying that there was nothing to discuss with the media. Mukono Resident District Commissioner, Fatumah Ndisaba says that
she has always alerted and directed police to raid and arrest
attendants and owners of these places but they are reluctant to do so.
An intelligence officer in Mukono told URN on condition of anonymity that the proprietors
of the bars pay senior police officers who allow them to
operate without any interruptions. He notes that some of the bars
operate behind closed doors.
URN couldn’t independently
verify the bribery claims. Denis Ntege, the Chairperson of Mukono Bar Owners and Operators Association wants the government to allow other bars to
operate in order to reduce congestion in the few that are illegally operating.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander-KMP, Stephen Tanui insists
that such bars operate illegally. He
told URN that he has instructed the new Mukono Police
Division Commander Annabella Nyiramahoro to investigate the bar
owners and their patrons.
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Previously police attempted to raid Kalabas Café but they were stopped by Mukono District LC5 Chairperson Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa who claimed that
police had condoned off his home. Kalabas and Rev. Bakaluba share the same