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Three Big Bars in Mukono Violate Suspension, Work Past Curfew Hours

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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.
Youths watching spinning dance at Summer gardens.

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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 bosses.

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 premises.