Musician and businessman, Daniel Kazibwe alias Ragga Dee is angry following the closure of his bar, Big Mikes, located in Kololo by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on Saturday morning.
It was closed along with Atmosphere Lounge also in the same locality, over allegations of noise pollution, flouting public health regulations and lack of operational licence.
KCCA said that the closure is part of the authority’s latest crackdown on bars and places of worship involved in noise pollution, which they say, inconveniences people in the neighbourhood.
However, in an interview with Softpower News, a furious Ragga Dee said there was no justification for the closure of his bar, since he cleared all the licence fees to KCCA.
He says he paid money for licences and that he has the receipts, but KCCA has never granted or denied him the licence to operate.
‘’When you carry out inspection, you are supposed to either give or deny a person licence henceforth, but KCCA did not do any of the two, after inspecting my bar last year”, the singer said.
“I pay five licence fees including that for the pool table, club, restaurant, guest house and a bar, and I paid for all of them in December 2018 and KCCA received. Does it mean I am a defaulter?’’ asked Ragga Dee.
He says some officers in the Authority receive bribes from foreign business competitors especially those who own hotels, who yearn to see businesses owned by Ugandans in the area closed in order for them to tap clients who go to the bars for food.
‘’Those people have injected a lot of money in the KCCA officials and as a result, they look for any excuse to have your business closed. Worse more, all the people agitating for the closure of their bars are not Ugandans. We have run our bars for over 18 years and those people found us here,’’ he added.
On noise pollution, Ragga Dee says the claims are false since KCCA officials do not even measure to ascertain the loudness of sound, but instead, they only grant a document claiming noise pollution.
He says if it was about closing all bars in Kololo, then his shouldn’t have been the first because there are clubs and bars that engage in more serious activities like selling shisha but continue operating.
Ragga Dee wonders why his bar has been singled out by the authorities.
‘’Why mine? Is it because i am Ragga Dee?’’
The musician says the closed bars combined, employ over 600 workers who will be rendered jobless by the closures, which according to him, directly affects the economy.
A couple of days back, a group of five residents of the area including Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International, dragged seven bars including Big Mikes bar to court, for noise pollution.
Ragga Dee however told us that Winnie Byanyima is not among the five people who sued them to Court, but instead her name was sank in, for political reasons.
“Winnie Byanyima owns H2O which is one of the bars sued, she is not among the complainants. Her bar is located on her building in Kololo,” he said.
Ragga Dee adds that the closure has cost him over Shs 70m since he was meant to have a music show today at the same place, adding that he is heading to Court to sue KCCA over allegedly illegally closing his bar yet he paid the licence fees.