Parliament perturbed over Nyege Nyege festival

Parliament has directed for the cancellation of Nyege Nyege, a controversial festival over concerns of immorality.

The festival that is scheduled for Thursday, 15 September 2022 for three days at the Source of the Nile in Jinja district was first held in 2013.

However, there have been numerous concerns about the promotion of immorality and issues to do with homosexuality.

Presenting a matter of national importance, the district Woman MP for Tororo, Hon. Sarah Opendi, said during plenary on Tuesday, 06 September 2022, that the event which goes on during both day and night for three days breeds immorality including recruitment and promotion of homosexuality.

AUDIO: Hon. Sarah Opendi

“What is the government's position on this growing immorality in this country, and it is going to attract all kinds of people all over the world, bringing all kinds of activities that are non-African, non-Ugandan into our communities?” Opendi questioned.

Hon. Rose Lilly Akello, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity said that government has been working together with the Uganda Police and the event organisers and hat the latter have been summoned for a meeting in which they will have to agree to certain terms and conditions for the event to proceed.

“Children below 18 years are not allowed to attend the event. Secondly, nobody should go to that event naked, nobody should go to the event naked, nobody should go to the event with exposure of the body, and nobody should do any immoral activities,” Akello said.

She added that if these conditions were not met, the event would not take place.

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, tasked the minister to explain the benefit the country gets out of Nyege Nyege. She also wondered if the event is not held, what will the country lose.

She said that the country should not be sold in the name of tourism.

Hon. Martin Mugarra, the Minister of State for Tourism, said Nyege Nyege is a huge tourism opportunity that has so far attracted over 8,000 tourists flying into Uganda and have bought entry tickets and booked hotels.

“As we speak now, around 8,000 foreigners have already paid tickets and have booked to come and sleep in this country,” he said. He agreed that there was need to set conditions for the event to happen.

Hon. Henry Kibalya, the MP Bugabula South, said the minister was not mindful of the morals of the country and should not talk about the foreigners who have bought tickets instead of considering the morality of Ugandans.

AUDIO: Hon. Henry Kibalya

“I have witnessed this Nyege Nyege and it is immoral; it destroys our children, it destroys everybody. We cannot sacrifice the morals of people because of tickets that have been sold!” he said.