Sunday,August 02,2020 21:14 PM

Ragga Dee's Big Mikes bar still closed

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th February 2019 02:35 PM

On Friday a team from Kampala City Council Authority comprising of bouncers and armed Police stormed the bar. The bouncers roughed up unarmed security guards manning the gates as they put seals on them.

Ragga Dee's Big Mikes bar still closed

On Friday a team from Kampala City Council Authority comprising of bouncers and armed Police stormed the bar. The bouncers roughed up unarmed security guards manning the gates as they put seals on them.

Photo: Vision Reporter

Ragga Dee's Big Mikes Bar and Restaurant remained closed over the weekend following pressure from the neighbourhood about loud music and noise. Staff members to the bars and clubs were left jobless over the weekend with reports of loss of sales recorded over the long weekend.

Justice Henrietta Wolayo has set February 26 to rule on a preliminary objection against a High Court case in which Big Mikes and several clubs in Kololo are accused of noise pollution.

On Friday a team from Kampala City Council Authority comprising of bouncers and armed Police stormed the bar. The bouncers roughed up unarmed security guards manning the gates as they put seals on them.

"I was inquiring what they wanted and they started pulling up my trousers, pushing me aside, using a lot of force," said a disappointed and annoyed guard.

"Why were they harassing me like that? Why do they treat people like that," asked the angry guard.

Ragga Dee born Daniel Kazibwe, is a Ugandan musician. He contested for mayor of Kampala in the 2016 general elections. 

He is recognised as one of the pioneers of contemporary Ugandan music famous in the mid 1990's for producing hits like Bamusakata and Mukwano while part of a group called Da Hommies, today, he is known for songs like Mpeta, Mbawe and Nugu. He has won the Pearl of Africa Music Award.

The club has had its share of troubles as KCCA bouncers have been plucking off number plates of vehicles parked on pavements. Owners of the plucked number plates have had to part with sh300,000 to get back their number plates.

Patrons to the clubs in the area, due to inadequate parking space in the area often park on pavements at night. They avoid parking alongside the roads as they are guided by parking attendants, composed of youth looking for some wage at night.

Office space, night clubs, restaurants, malls have taken over Acacia Avenue, Kololo with residents crying foul over the change of the old residential status of the area.

Residents of the upscale area of Kololo in Kampala Central Division have been up in arms against the bars and their landlords over noise pollution in the area. The bars have said they invested heavily in sound proof equipment to prevent noise pollution.

The complainants among them owners, residents, occupiers of real estate property and dwelling houses on John Babiiha Avenue (Acacia Avenue), Acacia Road, Windsor Crescent and Someo Road in Kololo are against operation of bars in their locality.

The complaints argue that the businesses started five years ago as bars and night clubs that have played host to music concerts, loud public address systems, late night parties, engaged in and promoted music rehearsals for different musicians which feature electronically amplified guitars, organs, drums, flood lights, human voices, as well as excessive boisterous yelling, whistling, clapping and foot stomping noises.

The residents state that the bar operators have set up big size screens with music videos and floodlights reflecting in their properties which emit noise beyond the maximum permissible noise levels.

"The bars have continuously allowed the use and consumption of tobacco and other narcotic substances which circulate in the air and interrupt the quiet enjoyment of the plaintiffs' properties as well as affecting their health and that of their family members," reads the complaint before court.

A group of five residents describing themselves as proprietors of various properties in Kololo, have sued seven bars trading in their immediate neighborhood.

Other clubs affected in the area include Casablance Pub Night Club and Restaurant, H2O Bar, Restaurant and Lounge, Bubbles O'Leary's, Atmosphere Bar and Lounge as well as Wave Lounge.

The residents have sued Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) for allegedly failing to execute their mandate of ensuring compliance with the laws.

The bar proprietors admit carrying out businesses at their respective principal places in Kololo, an upscale Kampala suburb, but contend that their business locations are not adjacent to and or in the immediate neighborhood of the complainants' residences.

They assert that they have never been issued with a noise control zone notice by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) as required by law designating the complainants' purported residential area as a Noise Control Zone for the purpose of controlling the emission of noise in that area.

The bar operators claim to have discharged their obligation of meeting the requirements prior to the grant of licences for them to establish their businesses, and that the said licences issued by KCCA, the local planning authority, were duly honoured.

"That the defendants' premises were duly inspected, assessed and evaluated as fit for business as establishments of entertainment within the parameters of the laws governing the said businesses," reads part of the defence.

They contend that they enjoy a fundamental right to carry on trade and business in Uganda and that the suburb of Kololo has never been a restricted area for such trade and businesses and thus the complainants' quest in the case amounts to negating their fundamental economic right to carry on business and trade as guaranteed to them by law.

"It is contended for the defendants that playing of music, the singing of songs and display of television screens within the precincts and confines of the compounds in their respective properties would not cause harm to the general public and the same is not prohibited by law and there cannot be a blanket ban on such activity as sought by the plaintiffs in their plaint.

That there would be no scope to cause nuisance as the business of the defendants are carried out in a manner that is not inherently vicious to the health, safety, welfare, peace, order and morals of the general public," reads the joint defence.

Also related to this story 

KCCA closes bars in Kololo over noise pollution

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