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Uganda Police has no business running pubs

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th October 2013 04:07 PM

The history of the Uganda Police force and bars is not a happy one, in fact it has a very tragic history. A few years ago a police officer established a pub within the Ntinda barracks, and apparently it was quite successful.

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By Kalungi Kabuye

The history of the Uganda Police force and bars is not a happy one, in fact it has a very tragic history. A few years ago a police officer established a pub within the Ntinda barracks, and apparently it was quite successful.

But pubs and policemen is a lethal mixture, differences arose over different issues, and gunfire was soon exchanged.
 
That bar was closed after that, and the Police authorities announced that no bars would be allowed in the barracks.
 
But a few months later the pub opened again, and again policemen exchanged fire.
 
This time the whole structure was torn down, and the IGP announced on TV that the Uganda Police Force has no business running bars.
 
That was in my mind last Sunday when I decided to check out the newly opened Cityville pub in Bukoto along Old Kira Road. 
 
A few friends had told me about it, how cool it was; and since that particular Sunday was not going anywhere I decided to check it out.
 
There were policemen at the gate, which I decided was a good thing, what with these pesky Al Shabab guys wanting to spoil our peace. 
 
We were dully checked and allowed in. It looked like they were closing, but there were two couples near the bar so I went in, and I discovered I actually knew them.
 
So I said hello, sat down, and ordered for a drink. But I was told the bar was closed, and the manager had left. 
 
One of the guys tried to persuade them to give us drinks, but they declined. So I called my cab, said my good byes, and tried to leave.
 
But the policeman at the gate (he said his name was Jude Kasozi) closed the gates before we could drive through, and after a lot of remonstrations said we were ‘not cleared to leave.’  
 
What the hell did that mean? Apparently the ‘afande there’ (pointing to the bar), had not cleared us to leave.
 
We got even more confused, since when did one need clearance to leave a bar? In my life I have been asked to leave quite a few bars, at times not very nicely, but this was the first time I was ‘refused’ to leave a bar.
 
It turned out that the two couples we had met had not cleared their bills, but what did that have to do with me?
Officer Kasozi, in full uniform, said he knew we had not been served with drinks, and that we had nothing to do with the other guys, but we still had to be cleared to leave.
 
My cab driver was furious, but I cooled him down, because memories of Ntinda came back to me. 
Arguing with policemen in a bar is not a smart thing and what if Pamanera happened all over again?
 
Eventually those other  guys reached some sort of an understanding with the ‘afande’ and we were cleared to leave. 
 
They had the audacity to ask me for a lift, and then suggested we go to another bar. I had been detained against my will because they had not paid their bills, now they wanted me to go to another bar with them? I dumped them the first place I could.
 
But I agree with General Kayihura, the Uganda Police Force should have no business running bars.
 
What if the ‘afande’ at the bar takes a fancy to some girl? She probably will not have clearance to leave till the weekend is over. 
 
Or what if another ‘afande’ disagreed with the bar ‘afande’?
 
But never worry, my lawyer is talking to these guys, and I might come out smiling after all; and not angry as I was on Sunday.
 
You can follow Kalungi Kabuye on Twitter @KalungiKabuye
 

Uganda Police has no business running pubs

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