KAMPALA – President Museveni has given UGX2.6 billion as compensation to several artistes and promoters who made losses when police cancelled Kyarenga concerts that had been organised by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.
This website has obtained an exclusive briefing of the State House meeting on Tuesday in which the President made the pledge to the farmers. The meeting was organised by the President’s brother, Gen. Salim Saleh. It was also attended by the deputy coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), Lt Gen. Charles Angina, Brig. Elly Kayanja attending, State minister for Micro Finance Haruna Kasolo and Gender and Children Affairs Minister Florence Nakiwala.
On the side of artistes and promoters, the executive director of Uganda Music Promoters and Venue Owners Network [UMP-NET], Mr. Tonny Ssempijja, was in attendance alongside Geoffrey Lutaaya and wife Mariam Ndagire, Sophie Gombya, Ykee Benda, Andrew Benon Kibuuka and the Umbrella for Ugandan Bouncers Association [UUBA].
Before making the pledges, the President is said to have told the artistes to separate politics from music.
Mr Museveni pledged UGX1.8bn to assist the promoters to recover their money invested in Bobi Wine Kyalenga concerts that were cancelled last year. Mr. Ssempijja will distribute the money. Another UGX200 million will go to the artistes’ SACCO that is led by Mr. Lutaaya.
The President also promised a grant of UGX600m to the female artistes to enable them to complete their recreation centre at Kapeeka, which is intended to fight drug use among young artistes. The facility is headed by Mariam Ndagire.
When contacted at the weekend, Mr. Ssempijja confirmed that the meeting took place but denied that the artistes and promoters were being bribed to abandon Bobi Wine.
“The President is concerned about harmful music shows that he told us to avoid. The President insisted that politics in some shows will not be tolerated and warned that he will not compensate anyone in future whose show will be cancelled because of politics,” he said.
Last Christmas, police blocked Bobi Wine’s shows, citing lack of permission.
MPs led by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked government to respect Bobi Wine’s economic rights. Ms Kadaga directed Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odongo to respect the Constitution and exhibit fairness when it comes to okaying different concerts.