Government has prohibited any kind of ‘immoral’ behaviour at the MTN Nyege Nyege festival scheduled to take place at Nile Discovery Beach in Njeru, Jinja.
In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Uganda Police and the organisers of the festival, Talent Africa, open sex, drugs use, acts of homosexuality, procession to and fro the event have all been banned.
Police is to have unfettered access to the venue and facilities according the MoU signed by Erasmus Twaruhukwa on behalf of police and Ali Alibhai on behalf of Talent Africa. The MoU was signed at the ministry of Internal Affairs and is wrongly dated August 5, 2018.
Yesterday, Tuesday State minister for Ethics and Integrity banned the festival for what he called promotion of immoral behaviour in the country. However, he was quickly contradicted by Internal Affairs minister Maj Gen Jeje Odong who said hours later that the event would be allowed but with some conditions.
"This ugly thing called Nyege Nyege is not taking place this year. We have already evaluated how much losses will come. We shall save the image of this country but not allow this to take place for the two days and one night." Lokodo warned.
But a day later he said "I wish the public & event goers to be mindful of the requirements for safety, security law & order, ethical behaviour, health and sanitation as they participate in the festival."
Police warned that the event should not veer off its purpose of promoting culture, local music and tourism. Launched in 2015, the festival attracts freestyle revellers from across the world. Over 5,000 are expected to attend this year’s festival.
Bell Lager has been the main sponsor of the event and paid over Shs 150m last year and this year. The event has since been taken over by telecommunications giant, MTN as the main sponsor, who The Observer understands paid in excess of Shs 200m.