The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has overruled Parliament and given organizers of the Nyege Nyege international festival a green light for it to go ahead as planned September 15th to 18th, 2022.
“We have tasked the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity, as well as Ministry of ICT and the organizers, to come up with guidelines that will be followed during the event,” Nabbanja told a stakeholder meeting today morning.
CEO Talent Africa Aly Alibhai had told the stakeholders meeting chaired by the Prime Minister that over 4,000 people are directly and indirectly employed during Nyege Nyege Festival, and it is a good foreign exchange earner. The Prime Minister agreed, saying the economy is in a state that requires such a boost.
The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among had on Tuesday directed the cancellation of the planned three-day ‘Nyege Nyege’ music festival scheduled to take place at Itanda falls in Jinja.
Among and parliament said the three-day international festival should not go ahead “because it promotes immorality”.
The speaker’s directive followed a complaint raised by Tororo Woman Member of parliament Sarah Opendi as a matter of national importance. She said that the upcoming ‘Nyege Nyege’ festival in Jinja promotes immorality, saying it is an event that cannot be allowed to continue.
“What is the government’s position on this growing immorality in this country, and it is going to attract all kinds of people all over the world, bringing all kinds of activities that are non-African, non-Ugandan into our communities?” Opendi questioned.
Opendi said that while it is okay for people to enjoy, the festival poses a challenge to ethics in the country and the recruitment of children in different immoral behaviors. She demanded that government explains to parliament why it approved the festival that threatens the moral fiber of the nation.
In response, Rose Lilly Akello, the Minister of State for Ethics, said that the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity together with police summoned the organizers- Talent Africa and Uganda Breweries Limited last week.
Asked about the benefits of ‘Nyege Nyege’ festival to Uganda, Martin Mugarra, the Minister of State for Tourism, said Nyege Nyege is a huge tourism opportunity that has so far attracted over 8,000 tourists flying into Uganda and have bought entry tickets and booked hotels. He assured the House that conditions set by the government for the event were to be enforced to ensure that whatever happens conforms to the country’s morals.
“As we speak now, around 8,000 foreigners have already paid tickets and have booked to come and sleep in this country,” he said. He agreed that there was need to set conditions for the event to happen.
Among ruled that the function cannot take place because it goes against the morals of the country. The Nyege Nyege festival was first held in 2013.