With less than a month to the d-day, organizers of the annual Kampala City festival have said the much anticipated fest will not take place.
So, in case you had planned to partake in the merrymaking and fanfare that the two-day festival has come to be known for, well, not this year.
The unprecedented announcement was made by the KCCA Executive Director, Jeniffer Musisi, the lady who gave birth to the idea of celebrating Kampala. She told reporters in Kampala on Wednesday that it was not logical to spend millions of Shillings on entertainment when the city is grappling with issues of social services.
“We spend about Shs 500 million in organising the festival but we realised that if we divert this money to schools and hospitals, it would be better,” she said.
“Because some of the people who come to the festival are the very people who go to seek services in our city health centres and schools,” Musisi added.
KCCA anticipates about Shs 1.9bn from organizations and companies that had partnered in the undertaking.
It is not clear whether this is part of government’s latest austerity measures to cut down on wasteful expenditure by government agencies. This comes a day after government announced major downsizing in its agencies with an objective of improving efficiency and saving about Shs 1 trillion.
In May of this year, Musisi had said that proceeds from the festival which was scheduled for October 5 to 7 would go towards removing asbestos rooftops from the remaining 10 government aided schools across the city to curb the threat of cancer.
“Our main focus this year is to remove asbestos rooftops because they cause cancer. Like it or not, the future of this country depends on the children we are raising, so, let’s work together to improve their lives,” she said at the time.
KCCA says that part of the resources mobilized this year will go towards the establishment of a maternity ward at Kiswa Health Centre in Nakawa Division to avail nearby health services for pregnant mothers.
The event which has come to be a key highlight on the annual calendar for Kampalans has been happening since 2012. The festival celebrates the city by showcasing the cultural and food diversity, tourism, entertainment among others.
For the last 5 years, the KCCA Management have been volunteering a portion of their salary to the KCCA Fund that goes into improving school facilities.
Several companies including Uganda Breweries, Prime Media, Vivo Energy, Century Bottling company, Movit, Lighthouse Television, Gotv, Prime Media, MTN had already made their donations towards the festival.
For traders and other exhibitors who had already made bookings for the festival, Musisi said they will be refunded.