Police clears 1907 venues for new year’s fireworks display

Kampala – Police have cleared 1907 venues to display end-of-year fireworks on Sunday night. The venues including churches, bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, guest houses, and tourism sites were cleared by the Inspector General of Police, Martin Ochola through the Directorate of Operations Services (OPS).

OPS is headed by Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) John Nuwagira, who is deputized by Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP) Wilson Omoding. However, the number of cleared venues could increase since there are more applicants seeking clearance.

Ochola has instructed Regional Police Commanders, District Police Commanders, Division Police Commanders, and Officers in Charge Stations to visit the approved venues to ensure they comply with the guidelines. According to the guidelines, the venue must have enough space to display fireworks, and away from inflammable substances and liquids such as petrol and gas cylinders.

The venues should also be away from congested residential areas, have at least 10 fire extinguishers, and adequate entrance and exit routes.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga, who released the list on behalf of IGP and Nuwagira, said police commanders have been directed to cancel any fireworks display at all venues that do not meet the set guidelines.

Enanga said the guidelines are intended to avoid a recap of what transpired at Freedom City at Namasuba along Entebbe road where 11 people died during the end of last year’s fireworks display stampede. The Freedom City tragedy left renowned events promoter Abby Musinguzi, the proprietor of Abitex Promotions, and events emcee Francis Jjuuko behind police bars.

However, the Makindye Chief Magistrates Court dismissed the charges against the duo. This Sunday’s fireworks will be distributed by eight companies which include Fesco Ltd owned by Festu Bandeeba, Extremes Events Services Ltd owned by Michael Mugera, Sky Flames (U) Ltd owned by Cephas Egesa, Light Africa Uganda Ltd owned by Mathias Lukoda.

Other authorized fireworks distributors include Tomil Fireworks Ltd owned by Nixon Waudo, Goshen Africa Ltd owned by Robert Mbuusi and Fireworks 7000 owned by Emmanuel Kwikiriza. Kampala South, which starts from Katwe police station up to Entebbe policing division has 72 venues cleared to display New Year’s fireworks. This region covers major police stations that include Katwe, Nateete, Kajjansi, Kabalagala, Ggaba, Entebbe, Nsangi, and CPS Kampala.

Kampala North, which covers Nansana Municipality up to Kakiri town council has 78 approved venues. This region includes Kawempe, Wandegeya, Old Kampala, Nansana, Matugga, Kasangati, Wakiso and Kakiri. Kampala East which covers Jinja Road, Kira Road, Kira Division, Naggalama, and Mukono has 56 venues cleared to display fireworks. The IGP has directed police commanders to collaborate with all other security agencies and units to ensure peaceful New Year’s Day celebrations.


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