Government has given a green light to the much anticipated music festival, Nyege Nyege set to take place in Jinja this weekend, following an earlier revelation by the Minister for Ethics and Integrity that the event would not take place.
On Tuesday, Minister for Ethics and Intergrity, Fr Simon Lokodo announced that Nyege Nyege festival had been cancelled out of concerns relating to sexual immorality. He said if allowed to take place, Nyege Nyege was likely to compromise national integrity.
The four-day music and cultural event which is organized by Talent Africa and sponsored by Telecom giant, MTN Uganda is scheduled to run from Thursday September 6 to Sunday September 9.
Fr Lokodo had written a letter to Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo asking that he directs the Inspector General of Police to halt the event.
Lokodo said that he has credible evidence from religious leaders, opinion leaders and local authorities that “the purpose of this festival in the last two years has been compromised to accommodate the celebration and recruitment of young people into homosexuality and LGBTI movement.”
The announcement by Fr Lokodo was received with anguish on social media especially from Ugandans who have previously attended the event as well as those that intend to grace this year’s edition.
Others were disturbed by the fact that the Minister had chosen to sabotage the event with only few days to go, when the organizers, participants and other stakeholders have already spent significant sums of money.
Tourism campaigners weren’t impressed either as they argued that frustrating a festival that attracts numerous people to Uganda was a misguided decision.
Now, Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo has come out to confirm that the festival will proceed to happen as scheduled but with conditions.
“Tomorrow, we shall hold a meeting between government and stakeholders in order to determine how it [festival] will be conducted. Yes, the festival is on but under some conditions,” Jeje Odongo said in an interview with NTV Uganda.
On Twitter, MTN Uganda also confirmed that the festival will take place.
Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo tweeted late on Tuesday that “Just spoken to Internal Affairs Minister Gen. J. J. Odongo, he states #NyegeNyege organizers should go ahead with prepations for their function. Further review meeting involving all stakeholders is scheduled for 10.00am 2moro”.
The festival’s website defines the Nyege Nyege event as standing for; peace, respect and abundant joy; Africa and Africans; underground music and musicians; fun and curiosity and that it strives towards inclusivity and wonder.
“Nyege Nyege Festival is now considered the most important 4-day international music festival in East Africa for both its one-of-a-kind curation and its unique afropolitan party vibe,” the website further states.