By Fred Kiva
KAMPALA. The MTN Nyege Nyege Festival has been cleared to proceed, following a consultative meeting between government and the event organizers.
Media Centre Executive Director Ofwono Opondo said in a tweet this afternoon, “Following a consultative meeting chaired by Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo, between government and the organizers today, the event (Nyege Nyege) has been cleared to proceed.”
Without giving details of the meeting, Opondo added, “Ethics Minister Fr Simon Lokodo will issue a statement shortly.”
The minister has since released the statement stating that both government and organisers have found a middle ground.
Meanwhile sources say government set tough conditions for the organizers of the event, which the Ethics Minister had on Tuesday insisted it should not take place.
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"This event called Nyege Nyege is off. It won’t happen in 2018," he emphasized on Tuesday. Minister Lokodo on Monday wrote to Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo, asking him to instruct the Inspector General of Police to have this year’s festival called off. In a September 3, letter, Lokodo said he had received credible information that the event’s purpose had been compromised to pave way for recruitment of young people into homosexuality.
“The nature of this event has attracted the attention of several stakeholders who have taken keen interest in it. Consequently ,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 to accommodate the celebration and recruitment of young people into homosexuality and the LGBT(Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) movement,” he said.
Similar concerns were raised on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday by Bufumbira East legislator and Former Ethics Minister, Phillip Nsaba Butuuro. The former Ethics minister asked government to investigate the impending Nyegenyege festival, following reports that homosexuals were planning to use the event to popularize gay activities.
The Nyegenyege festival 2018 is organized, with the sponsorship of MTN Telecommunication Company and other Companies. The annual festival which brings in a number of both local, regional and international artists is scheduled for 6th to 9th September, 2018 at the Nile Resort Beach in Jinja.