Kitgum issues by-law to restrict drinking hours

The Kitgum District Security Committee has resolved to regulate the hours of alcohol consumption and restrict the playing of blaring music in pubs and disco theques in Kitgum Town Council.

During a security meeting last week, Resident District Commissioner Santo Okot Lapolo revealed that the decree is to regulate drinking hours from 5pm and not beyond midnight and restrict loud music. “It is meant to reduce the rising crimes such as idleness, housebreaking, theft, rape, defilement which are all carried out under the influence of alcohol and also to abate other security threats that come as a result of the merry making,” he said.

Adding: “Excessive consumption of alcohol drives the abusers into committing criminal offences, while some thugs take aantage of the high level of noise and loud music to engage in immoral acts and terrorise innocent residents in the neighborhoods.”

The LC1 vice chairperson Kitgum Urban Council, Mr Alfred Omara, said the resolution will collectively be enforced by the police, internal security officers, community crime preventers and LC1 and LC2 chairpersons.

Mr Omara added that local council authorities have been mandated to ensure that the music played by pub and bar owners in their respective places is regulated in accordance with the laws, and failure to comply will attract a ban or their licence being cancelled.

“Operations will be intensified and bar owners found selling and persons found drinking outside designated hours will be apprehended and charged according to the laws or subjected to community service,”.

Some bar owners who preferred speaking on condition of anonymity have reacted positively to the decree while others have castigated the move saying they pay licences that do not restrict hours for their time of operations.

Locals react Mr David Okene, a resident of Apolo ground in Kitgum Town Council, defended the resolution saying it will help to encourage a culture of productive work since restricting access to alcohol can reduce alcohol-related problems.

However Ms Doreen Atii of Eastward “B”, believes the decree is a waste of time because no one will actively enforce it saying those who have passed the decree will be the first to disregard it since some of them operate bars.

She expressed fear that, the enforcers can be compromised citing crime preventers since working voluntarily will render them become very corrupt. There are also fears of illegal sale of alcohol.

SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR

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