By Sania Babirye
State is today expected to inform city hall court on whether or not they will continue with a noise pollution case against local Musician Daniel Kazibwe also known as Ragga Dee.
On the 1st of April, the case had come up for mention at city hall court to allow Ragee to take plea but as usual he was no where to be seen in the court room.
Ragge Dee as usual decided to come to court but stayed outside the courtroom chatting with his Juma Seiko as the case was called for mention.
This prompted KCCA prosecutor Elijah Ndamuran to inform grade one magistrate Patrick Talisuna that they want an adjournment of two weeks to allow them to go through the file to see if they can continue with case or drop it.
The Magistrate then adjourned the case to today and issued a third criminal summon against Ragga Dee.
On the 15th of February, Ragga Dee again missed the mention of his case despite arriving in court early.
He is needed to answer to charges related to emitting noise beyond permissible levels in his Kololo Big Mikes Bar which he co-owns with Maj Juma Seiko .
However, Ragga Dee instead of sitting in court to wait for his case, rather decided to spend all his time outside the courtroom talking to the media.
And as a result, the magistrate called his case and later adjourned it to today and also extended more criminal summons to Ragga Dee and his co accused a one Rita Nancy who is the manager of the bar.
His lawyer David Mushabe that day informed court that Ragga Dee was in talks with KCCA to have the matter settled out of court.
On the 4th of February, criminal summons were issued against Ragga Dee to answer to charges in relation to failure to comply with an improvement noise and breaking council property [seals].
Prosecution states that, Danial Kazibwe and Ritah Nancy on the 29th of February 2019 at Kololo Central division in Kampala did play music equipment emitting noise above the National permissible levels under the National environment noise standards and level regulations 2003.
On the 23rd of February, Kampala Capital City Authority closed Ragga Dee’s Bar over noise pollution, Flouting public health regulations and operating without a license.
According to KCCA the closure was part of their crackdown on places emitting noise pollution including places of worship and bars.
KCCA says such noise disturbs the peace of the neighbors.
Ragga Dee’s summon comes after some residents in the area dragged a total of Seven bars including Big Mikes bar to court over Noise pollution.
These also sued KCCA and NEMA of failing to regulate such noise coming from the said bars.
These had claimed that apart from the too much noise being emitted by such bars through music concerts and parties that goes late into the night, some of these bars had big screens and flood lights that penetrates in to their homes thereby disturbing their peace and comfort which they wanted court to stop.
However, Ragga Dee claimed that Banyima’s name was just being used for political purposes because her bar H20 was among those not sued.
While speaking to the media after his bar closure, Ragga Dee accused KCCA of double standards claiming that he had dully paid all his taxes to KCCA and that his bar was the only one being targeted yet other bars near him and emits more noise have never been closed.
Ragga Dee who also affiliates to the NRM ruling party and was the party flag bearer for the seat of Kampala Lord Mayor in the concluded 2016 General elections against incumbent Erias Lukwago, also accused KCCA of leaving many people unemployed since his bar employees more people whom he claims that would be affected with such closures.
He accussed KCCA officias of being corrupt claiming that many officials receaive bribes from especially foreign rival business owners to take other businesses mainly owned by locals down to push then out of business.
Ragee Dee also claimed that KCCA does not measure noise coming from bars but only suplies a document indicating that there is noise pollution.
He said that in December last year, he paid KCCA the license fee and has receipts including license fee for bar, pool table, restraunt, guest house and club and that if his business was found lacking in anyway, then it should have been denied the license or if it fulfilled all the required standards, then he should have been cleared and given a license
He however says that although KCCA did inspect the bar, he was never given any of the above.
He says that it would have been better if KCCA would take that energy used to close bars to close those places engaging in harmful health activities like those selling the banned smoking substances like Shisha than targeting those that comply to the set regulations especially his bar that has been in existence for the past 18 years.
He described the move to close bars as a bad economic move since such bars contribute to reducing unemployment in country by giving jobs to many Ugandans more especially the youths who are the majority population and unemployed .