Uganda bans music, arts festival due to 'homosexuality'

Tuesday September 4 2018

People dancing at a past Nyege Nyege festival.

People dancing at a past Nyege Nyege festival. The 2018 edition has been banned. FILE PHOTO 

By The EastAfrican
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Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, has banned a popular and highly publicised international music and arts festival schedule for the weekend.

Mr Lokodo said the government had "information that open sex, noise, homosexuality, LGBTI will be part of" the Nyege Nyege festival, which was to be held on September 6-9.

Revellers at the 2017 Nyege Nyege festival.

Revellers at the 2017 Nyege Nyege festival. PHOTO | EDGAR BARTE

“This ugly thing called MTN 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,” he said.

Let foreigners not come to Uganda for sex. If you are coming for sexual reasons worse still homosexuality and LGBTQ, stay away."

“MTN Nyege Nyege will not be accepted... it will not take place. I wanted Nyege Nyege cancelled last year but they escaped," he said.

Revellers at the 2017 Nyege Nyege festival.

Revellers at the 2017 Nyege Nyege festival. PHOTO | EDGAR BARTE

This year's festival is sponsored by telecom firm MTN. Last year, Bell Lager -- the first Ugandan brewed beer -- by Uganda Breweries Limited sponsored the event.

The activity will be covered by alcohol and music. There will be drugs, toxicants not accepted by this country.

Revellers at the 2017 Nyege Nyege festival.

Revellers at the 2017 Nyege Nyege festival. PHOTO | EDGAR BARTE

“There will be nudity and sexuality done at any time of the hour. There will be open sex.

“The very name of the festival is provocative. It means “sex, sex” or urge for sex. We have been informed it’s taking place near Owen Fall’s dam. This brings uncertainty and fear."

“This is close to devil worshipping and not acceptable."

Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo

Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, addressing journalists in Kampala about the cancellation of the Nyege Nyege festival on September 4, 2018. PHOTO | NMG

Mr Lokodo said he has written to the police to stop the event from taking place.

The festival had attracted over 300 artists from over 30 countries.

The venue was set on a six-acre forest on the banks of the River Nile, a kilometre away from the source of the river and Jinja town.