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NYEGE NYEGE BAN: Urgent Cabinet Meeting Called to Discuss Whether to Officially Stop or Allow Festival

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Minister Baryomunsi during the meeting

Reports coming in indicate that a cabinet meeting has been called to discuss a decision by Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among to ban the 2022 edition of the Nyege Nyege Festival which is scheduled for next week.

During Tuesday, September 06 plenary, Parliament discussed the issue of Nyege Nyege Festival, concluding that it promotes immorality and that it should be banned and not allowed to take place this year.

This directive that was trumpeted by Speaker Among, the Bukedea District Woman MP, came only days to the festival that is expected to be held at the Itanda Falls.

Apparently, a number of foreign guests have already bought their tickets to the festival. Reports also suggested that a number of the guests have already made their hotel bookings.

Speaker Among and her fellow moralist MPs did not take into consideration such factors before making orders to stop Nyege Nyege. All they insisted on was that the festival — which almost all of them have never attended — promotes immorality, and that morality was more important than economic benefits that come from the festival.

Hours after Speaker Among made her directives, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, the leader of government business in the House, called for a cabinet meeting to discuss the Nyege Nyege Festival, at least according to a letter making rounds on social media.

The minister summoned include: Tom Butime, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities; Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Internal Affairs; Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD); Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of Information Communications Technology (ICT) and National Guidance; as well as Rose Lily Akello, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity.

The main reason behind invitation to the meeting was “to discuss matters relating to hosting of the Nyege Nyege Concert.”

“I am informed that the above concert has been taking place annually in Jinja District. As you may have noted, there has been public concern over the forthcoming concert and it has generated serious debate in Parliament,” reads part of the letter said to have been written by PM Nabbbanja.

“This is, therefore, to invite you for a meeting on Wednesday 7th September, 2022, at the Office of the Prime Minister, First Floor Boardroom starting at 8:30am to discuss the above matter.”

If this meeting indeed happens, government is expected to issue its official statement on whether to officially allow the festival to take place or whether to block the same over immorality issues.

Speaker Among and her fellow MPs such as Sarah Opendi described Nyege Nyege Festival as ‘a hub of immorality.’ (Read Story Here).

Meanwhile, Museveni’s government spokesperson quickly warned Speaker Among that she did not have powers to block Nyege Nyege Festival and that it was not necessary to cause such controversy by announcing cancellation of the concert in the manner she did. (Read Story Here).

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