5 September 2018

Uganda: Meeting to Decide Nyege Nyege Jinja Festival Today

Photo: Nyege Nyege
Nyege Nyege festival.

Kampala — The Uganda Media Centre executive director, Mr Ofwono Opondo, last evening said Internal Affairs minister Gen Jeje Odongo would this morning chair a meeting to decide whether Nyege Nyege, a festive event sponsored by the MTN, should take place.

Mr Opondo tweeted after the minister of Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo, wrote to Gen Odongo to stop the event, saying he had evidence that some people were planning to openly have sex and smoke marijuana at the event.

In his tweet, Mr Opondo said: "... just spoken to Internal Affairs Minister, he states that the Nyege Nyege organisers should go ahead with preparations for their function. Further review meeting involving all stakeholders is scheduled for 10am tomorrow [today]."

The much-awaited event is supposed to start tomorrow and end on Sunday in Jinja.

Lokodo's claim

"I have strong evidence that some participants are going to take drugs, have open sex including bestiality," Fr Lokodo told Daily Monitor.

Efforts to reach the MTN seniour Manager Corporate Affairs, Ms Justina Ntabgoba, were futile as she did not respond to our calls nor text messages.

In a letter to Internal Affairs Minister, Mr Lokodo claimed the event that is supposed to draw revellers across the world is intended to promote homosexuality.

"I have received credible information from religious leaders, opinion leaders and local authorities that the purpose of this festival, in the last two years has been compromised and accommodate the celebration and recruitment of young people into homosexuality and LGBT movement," Mr Lokodo wrote. Under the Penal Code Act homosexuality is illegal and "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" between same sexes carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.

Police says

The police spokesperson, Mr Emilian Kayima, had earlier said yesterday that he had seen Mr Lokodo's letter but police was yet to take a decision.

"I saw the letter. But let me consult whether a decision has been made on the letter," he said.

If the event is eventually cancelled the organisers count losses for the four-days event that will see 300 artists from more than 30 countries performing at Nile Discovery Beach in Jinja, by the source of the Nile.

Mr Lokodo is scheduled to meet the Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, and Gen Odong.

About the event

It's a four day annual fun-filled event that draws musicians from all over the world.

Camp sites are set up where food and drinks are served day and night. The organizers also erect tents that are rented by the attendees to sleep.

The organisers were selling tickets in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

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