Performers at Nyege Nyege Festival | Photo: Nyege Nyege Festival, Facebook
The Minister for Ethics and Integrity in Uganda tried to ban the famous Nyege Nyege festival because he felt it promoted ‘homosexuality’, ‘LGBTI’, and ‘open sex’.
However, the next day (5 September), the minister backtracked, allowing the event to run.
Simon Lokodo called on police to stop the international arts and music festival from being held on 6 to 9 September 2018. According to the minister, religious groups claimed ‘open sex, noise, homosexuality, LGBTI will be part of’ the festival.
He also alleged ‘the purpose of this festival in the last two years has been compromised to accommodate the celebration and recruitment of young people into homosexuality and LGBTI movement.’
Yet after a meeting between the Internal Affairs Minister, Jeje Odongo, the Ethics minister, and the organizers, the event is definitely going ahead.
Backtracking on the decision
In a statement released to the press today, he wrote: ‘After consultation, intra government and security agencies as well as discussions with the event organizers this morning, we have now found a middle ground that takes into account the concerns of the government as well as those of the organizers.’
Also, organizers of the four day festival agreed to a list of terms presented by the minister. On that list was the prohibition of drugs, homosexuality, and children after 6pm.
Nyege Nyege festival, which translates to ‘sex sex’, attracts people from all over the world. Over 300 artists are playing on five stages. The line up includes Sho Madjozi, Stella Chiweshe, and Orchestre Les Mangalepa.
A problem with homosexuality
Simon Lokodo and the Ugandan parliament has a long history persecuting LGBTI people. The country has strict laws against homosexuality. If gay people are caught having sex, they can spend up to seven years in prison. The government repealed a bill that would send gay people to prison for life in 2014.
There have since been calls to bring back the ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill to Uganda.
The minister banned an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) event earlier this year for promoting homosexuality.