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Govt green-lights Nyege Nyege Festival

By Paul Kiwuuwa, Apollo Mubiru

Added 5th September 2018 05:14 PM

The annual festival for music lovers in East Africa to experience the latest trends in music from across the continent

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Ethics minister Simon Lokodo backtracked after calling for the festival to be called off on Tuesday.

The annual festival for music lovers in East Africa to experience the latest trends in music from across the continent

Government has cleared the annual music and dance festival, Nyege Nyege, after security agencies and the organisers held talks.

Tough conditions have also been set for the festival which starts Thursday and ends on Sunday in Jinja.

Internal affairs minister, Gen Jeje Odongo, chaired the meeting attended by ethics state minister, Simon Lokodo, the Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochora, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, UPDF and the organisers.

According to a memorandum of understating between government and the organisers, in the event of breach of any or a combination of the above terms, government reserves the right to call off the event without notice.

Lokodo had called for the festival to be blocked on the grounds of deviant sexual immorality. The minister on Tuesday wrote to Odongo asking him to order Police to stop the event.

“I now therefore, take this opportunity to inform the public that the event is now cleared subject to the guidelines and conditions we have agreed upon with the organisers which they have pledged total compliance,” Lokodo said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“I wish the public and event goers to be mindful of the requirements for safety, security, law and order, ethical behaviour, health and sanitation as they participate in the festival. The compliance and the successful conduct of this event free of the threats and mischief while promoting our values is what we all desire,” he added.

Nyege Nyege is a Luganda word meaning ‘the feeling of a sudden uncontrollable urge to move, shake or dance’.

The festival's name evokes different meanings among the East African countries. While in Uganda it refers to the uncontrollable urge to dance, for Swahili speakers, nyege has sexual connotations.

The festival for music lovers in East Africa to experience the latest trends in music from across the continent.

Aly Alibhai, the chief executive officer of Talent Africa, the event managers of the festival told New Vision on phone that the conditions set are the usual security rules.

He said in a meeting with government, they agreed that Police and other security personnel will be deployed to search and screen all revellers on entrance. They will also provide standby ambulances and firefighting trucks in case of any accidents.

Alibhai dismissed claims that the festival revellers engage in open sex.

“Regard such allegations as fake news. Anybody who has been to the festival knows what happens there,” he said.

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