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Police on spot for overcharging events organizers for security

FILE PHOTO: Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesman Patrick Onyango

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Music promoters and event organisers in greater Masaka sub region are up in arms against police for charging them exorbitant fees for security services at their events.

The matter came to the fore during an assessment meeting for entertainment and event organizers at Maria Flo Hotel in Masaka municipality on Monday evening.

During the meeting, participants noted that they are finding it hard to cooperate with police because of the exorbitant costs for the security services.

The meeting comes in the wake of a nasty incident in which revelers at Buyaga trading center in Masaka district set ablaze a sound-system truck following the failure by the artists to turn-up for a music show.

Although Masaka District Security Committee accuses event organizers for hoodwinking their revelers through advertising artistes they can’t afford, the music promoters on the other hands accuse police of denying them the required security to handle such incidents.

Edward Miiro, an event organizer from Lyantonde district, says police often charges them a minimum of Shillings 1 million per show for security, hence their failure to procure all the artistes as advertised on the posters.

He has asked Frank Abaine and Herman Ssentongo, the Greater Masaka Regional Police Commander and Resident District Commissioner to set uniform fees for concerts in the area to avoid extortion.

Hassan Miiro, another Events manager from Lwengo district also accused police officers for partly contributing to the chaos in concerts as their bargaining tool to coerce event organizers to give them money.

He alleges that in some cases police officers create chaos the way they handle revelers leading to angry reactions, which forces them to respond to with bullets and eventually fail the concert.

Edward Ssansa, the Event organizer, who lost the sound to angry revelers, also wants police to reduce on the cost of services to guarantee the safety of revelers and the properties.

Frank Abaine, the Greater Masaka Regional Police Commander pledged to investigate the complaints of the event organisers and take appropriate action.

Tony Ssempijja, the Chairperson of Uganda Music Promoters and Venue Owners Network has instead asked the event organizers to consider seeking services of bouncers who he says are capable of providing them more reliable services.

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