KAMPALA – A section of music promoters led by vocal city promoters Andrew Mukasa alias Bajjo and Abbey Musinguzi alias Abtex have asked government to relax on the restrictions that were put on the music industry it a bid to curb the spread of the deadly pandemic that has since pinched the country’s economy hard.
In March, the Ugandan government passed a national lockdown where music concerts and festivals were banned. This left the promoters with no source of income as this was their main source of food on their tables.
The promoters who convened at Pope Paul in Ndeeba, Lubaga Division yesterday said they are facing hard times and its high time government came to their rescue with a permanent solution to their problem as they have been heeding to all the set guidelines.
“We don’t want government cash outs. We are looking forward to doing our business. So we demand an end to the lockdown,” Abitex told the press adding that many of them have lost property to money lenders while others can no longer afford home necessities and health care services.
Legendary Aloysius Matovu Joy, a stage performer, playwright and poet explained that they are aware about the prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic globally but this does not have to affect the continuity of the things that are supposed to be going on.
“We feel that continued lockdown is an injustice to the art Industry. Enough is enough, we use our talent to feed; people are squeezed and that is why we artists have decided to enter politics.”Matovu said.
Matovu pledged that once they are given the green light to operate, they will adhere to the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures in all their entertainment gazette zones (SOPs).
“Once they allow us we will ensure hand washing, social distancing and sanitizing” he said.
Promoter Abitex said the five months of lockdown have shattered the entire art industry and businesses like bars and beer companies that feed from it. He called upon the president to act and outlined that the entertainment industry is a broad sector of government that brings in a huge revenue.
“We believe the President will listen to our plea. If he doesn’t, we will protest in front of the State House,” he said.
Since March when the country went into lockdown, the performing industry has been totally down. The lockdown gave birth to innovations like online music concerts by artists, something that had never been adopted before. Luckily, these were eventually adopted by the fans and a number of artists have since held one.