NEW YEAR 2021: Bars turn away revellers

Bars would have had a boom season if not for COVID-19

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Bars and restaurants operating in Ntinda, Kamwokya and Kololo on Thursday 31, December 2020 turned away revellers who wanted to usher in the new year.

As early as 9:00 pm, streets that would normally experience an increase in traffic as revellers partied, welcoming the new year were deserted.

By 9:30 pm, popular bars like Cayenne located in Bukoto that are known for throwing big new year parties with the fireworks display at midnight were closed.

A security guard said that the managers of the bar opted to start a new year party as early as 6:00 pm so that they could close early. The guard was forced to close the gates leading to the bar to stop party-goers from accessing the premises.

By 10:00 pm, no cars or Boda Bodas were moving due to high police deployment. Police patrols could be seen driving along roads.

Andrew Mukisa a Boda Boda cyclist at Fraine Supermarket Ntinda says that business was slow. Normally, Mukisa says he would work up to the wee hours of the night ferrying drunk customers who wanted to move from one bar to another after the clock strikes midnight.

In Ntinda, many last-minute shoppers could be seen walking into Fraine Supermarket to buy alcoholic drinks.

Benson Atuhire, an attendant at the supermarket says from 7:00 pm, the number of customers buying alcohol increased. “Many people have been walking in to buy different type of alcohol to enjoy. In the last two hours, we have sold more alcohol than we do on a normal day. Due to the lockdown, people are buying alcohol to go and drink from home,” he said.

Read Also: How Ugandans plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve under COVID-19 restrictions

In Kamwokya, revellers in Mulimira in Bukoto 1 Parish, Kisenyi 1 and 2, Kifumbira and Chamuka areas it was merrymaking. Revellers partied until 10:30 pm.

Loud music from the bars could be heard with revellers dancing

On Naguru hill, end of year parties was held at Next Media Plaza and Skyz Hotel.

Access to the parties was by invite only. Security personnel were deployed to maintain law and order.