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Bar Owners Selling Off Property to Clear Accumulating Rent, Bank Loans

Aloysius Ngobya, the proprietor of Arona Sports Pub in Seeta in Goma Division, says that he had just obtained a loan of Shillings 25billion to improve his bar and stock expensive brands of alcohol when the government announced the lockdown.
A beer depot at Mukono Central Division.

Audio 3

Bar owners in Mukono Municipality are selling off their properties and homes to clear accumulated rent arrears and bank loans, URN has learnt. Bars and all places of social gatherings have largely remained closed since the first COVID-19 induced lockdown announced by President, Yoweri Museveni in March 2020.

The bar owners say that the prolonged lockdown has placed them between life and death. Aloysius Ngobya, the proprietor of Arona Sports Pub in Seeta in Goma Division, says that he had just obtained a loan of Shillings 25billion to improve his bar and stock expensive brands of alcohol when the government announced the lockdown.    

According to Ngobya, he surrendered his home in Kauga to the bank and moved into a makeshift structure with his family six months ago because of his failure to service his loan. He showed URN a receipt indicating that he last paid three month’s rent of Shillings 3million for his bar on March 30, 2020.  

//Cue in: “Ebbala zange zonna...  

Cue out: ...munsalosalo,”//

   

Jesca Nalwadda, the proprietor of Maticono Pub Kigombya was thrown out of his rented home for failure to pay rent. The single mother of five decided to move in with his children to the bar.

According to Nalwadde, despite the fact that she is not operating, security officers have charged her twice for opening the bar illegally. She says that her rent arrears for the bar have accumulated to Shillings 12million because she hasn’t for the last17 months.  

//Cue in: “Nobeera nga...         

Cue out: ...kyenkoleramu,”//

   

Nalwadda has since sold off four television sets, three refrigerators and two pool tables to provide for her family. Dona Violet, the proprietor of Dona Pub in Nasuuti, says that the lockdown left her without option but selling off two pool tables and two refrigerators at giveaway prices for survival.

Ronald Bogeere, the proprietor of Club One and bar along Kampala-Jinja highway, says that he used to employ over fifty workers distributing alcohol in the four sections of the club, bouncers, DJs, machine operators and cleaners but they starving in their rented houses.  

//Cue in: “Tumaze ebbanga...         

Cue out:  ...mu mwenda,”//    

The Chairperson of Mukono Bar Owners and Proprietors Association, Denis Ntege, says that they have sent a request through the Resident District Commissioner, Fatumah Ndisaba to the president at least allow them to sell alcohol without opening the sitting areas that may attract crowds.

Ntege says that they so far registered about five cases of their members selling off their bars while others are surrendering them to money lenders as security because of their failure to clear their loans.  

Ndisaba has appealed to bar owners to remain calm as the National COVID-19 Task Force continues to find ways of allowing them to operate without compromising on the COVID-19 preventive measures.