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Salons, night clubs defy Museveni's directives

By Betty Amamukirori

Added 9th April 2020 01:17 PM

Since the president warned security agencies against using excessive force and gave the people contacts to report cases of assault, people have started acting with impunity.

Salons, night clubs defy Museveni's directives

KCCA enforcement officers carrying out operations. Photo by Abby Ramadhan

Since the president warned security agencies against using excessive force and gave the people contacts to report cases of assault, people have started acting with impunity.

COVID-19 | PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVES

KAMPALA - Barely a month following the closure of nonessential businesses to reduce overcrowding as the country battles the deadly COVID-19, city authorities are reporting cases of bars, saloons and night clubs that have resumed operating.
 
Speaking to the New Vision yesterday,(April 8)  Robert Ssentongo, the District Internal Security Officer (DISO), for Kawempe Division said that they are faced with a challenge of bars and night clubs operating in the suburbs in contravention of the presidential directive.
 
"Yesterday (Tuesday) together with some security officers we arrested people from bars and clubs in the division," he said.
 
Moses Ssekibuule, the DISO Rubaga Division noted that on Tuesday businesses around Natete had resumed. Saloons, bars, hardware shops, and bodaboda started operations in total disregard of the government directives.
 
He noted that ever since the president warned security agencies against using excessive force and gave the people contacts to report cases of assault, people have started acting with impunity.
 
"Ugandans are taking advantage of the security officers not being harsh to open their businesses. When we carried out an operation yesterday (Tuesday), we found many saloons, bars and even bodaboda cyclists carrying passengers," he said.
 
He said they are now engaging law enforcers to close the businesses and for the stubborn ones, he appealed to the government to have their operating certificates revoked.
 
Meanwhile, unlike the previous weeks, issuance of travel permits has improved in some divisions. For Instance, When New Vision visited Nakawa division, there were no people while at Rubaga Division, whoever came, immediately after stating why they need the permits, they got it.
 
Though the deputy RCC Rubaga was not in his office, he left pre-signed and stamped letters with the DISO to give those in need of it.
 
Ssekibuule said they give priority to pregnant women, those with chronic illnesses like heart disease and those going for dialyses.
 
However, he noted that they are receiving many cases of people who want to visit their sick loved ones in the villages but with no clear mode of transport.
 
Kawempe and Makindye Division, on the other hand, still had a number of people on their premises waiting for more than two hours to get permits.
 
Mustafa Kamugisha, a resident of Makindye Division, told New Vision that the first time he got a permit to take his relative to the Uganda Cancer Institute,  he spent over four hours at the Resident City Commissioner's office before he to get the document.
 
However, he revealed that he didn't proceed to the institute because the person who had promised to avail the vehicle did not fulfill the pledge on March 6, 2020.
 
"After getting the letter, I called the man but the phone was switched off. The permit was allowing me to move for only one day. So I have come today (Wednesday) for a new permit to go to the hospital," he said. Since morning till about 1 pm, he had not yet received the document.
 
A youth mobiliser from Salama, along Entebbe Road, who declined to reveal his name, said the process has however improved and people are spending less time waiting for the permits.
 
He had come to bring some pregnant women from his village to secure permits. Since the outbreak of the virus in the country, he has been volunteering to drive people with health emergencies to the RCC office and to the hospitals.
 
"A week ago, it was challenging to get a permit but now things are better. So far, since Monday, I have brought here 15 pregnant women and they were all served immediately," he said.

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