KAMPALA – The government through the Ministry of Information, Communications Technology & National Guidance has issued guidelines for the “Nyege-Nyege” festival, 2022 amid Parliament protest.
Recently, the Speaker of Parliament exercising her powers banned the much-anticipated festival on grounds that it affects the morals of the children in Uganda.
“No function should take place. You are selling tickets at the expense of the children of Ugandans. We are not going to allow this function to take place,” ruled Anita Among.
“We are talking about the morality of this nation; we are discussing our kids. You want to advance tourism at the expense of our children. We won’t allow it to take place,” she added.
However, the government has maintained the status quo of the festival which is scheduled for September 15 to 18th in Jinja.
Minister of ICT Chris Baryomunsi, noted that at a Cabinet Sub-Committee meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on Wednesday 7th September 2022, the “nyege-nyege” festival was cleared to be hosted as planned from 15th-18th September 2022, at Itanda Falls in Jinja.
“In so doing, the meeting noted the benefits that will accrue from the festival, including promoting Uganda as a tourism destination of choice, at a time when the globe is re-opening fully for travel, following the post-COVID 19 lockdowns,” he said in a statement.
Prime Minister then tasked the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance and Ministry of Ethics & Integrity to prepare and issue guidelines, to ensure that the festival does not breach Uganda’s Laws and cultural/moral norms.
Accordingly, the government issued out the following guidelines:
- Minors (persons under 18 years) are barred from the festival;
- Sex orgies and nudity are prohibited at the festival;
- Contraband/narcotic drugs are prohibited at the festival;
- Vulgar language, songs, expressions and gestures are prohibited;
- Security personnel and officials from the Ethics & Integrity Directorate will have a right of impromptu entry to the festival for purposes of monitoring the activities.
- Organisers of the festival shall sign a written undertaking with Uganda Police Force (UPF), for purposes of complying with these guidelines, and ensuring safety of revelers.
- UPF shall work closely with the organisers to enforce the guidelines at all times. Breaches will attract sanctions, including prosecution. In case of serious breaches, UPF shall stop the festival and order everyone to vacate the “nyege-nyege” site.
“Finally, this is to re-iterate the NRM government’s commitment to fostering a free environment, which includes the right for our citizens and visitors to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Uganda within the purview of our laws and moral/social norms,” said minister.
Earlier, Minister of State for Tourism, Martin Mugarra told the House that over 8,000 foreign tourists have already booked tickets for the event.
It should be remembered that the late Father Simon Lokodo in his capacity as Minister of Ethics initiated the ban but was highly attacked and he was defeated.