PM Nabbanja says Nyege Nyege festival will go ahead next week

The four-day festival on the banks of the Nile in the southern town of Jinja brings together artists from across Africa to entertain around 10,000 revellers and is usually held in September.

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, has said the much-anticipated Nyege Nýege festival will go ahead next week in Jinja District despite parliamentary call to halt the event.

Ms. Nabbanja revealed this on Wednesday afternoon while addressing journalists at her office minutes after a closed door meeting with officials from ministries of Tourism, Gender, ICT, Internal and Foreign Affairs.

Nabbanja revealed that the meeting had resolved that the festival takes place but following set guidelines that will be formulated by the ministries of Ethics and Integrity and that of National Guidance together with the organizers.

“We had a meeting that I chaired to discuss the Nyege Nyege event that has been taking place in this country. A number of resolutions have been reached. One of them is to harmonize with the arm of Parliament to see that this event takes place with guidelines that will restrict those that are coming to celebrate to behave in a manner that is acceptable by Ugandan culture,’’ said Nabbanja.

“The event will take place. It is an event that attracts thousands and thousands of tourism across the globe and therefore, cancellation would be challenging. We also have to think about the economy,” she added.

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The four-day festival that usually takes place in September will be held at Itanda Falls in Jinja brings together artists from across Africa to entertain revellers.

However, there was a set back to the happening of the event when Parliament on Tuesday said it had “stopped ‘Nyege Nyege’ labeling the festival as being immoral, something which is not wanted in the country, according to minister for ethics and integrity Ms. Rose Lilly Akello.

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Nyege Nyege is a Swahili word which means an irresistible urge to dance in the local Luganda language, but it can have a sexual connotation in other languages in the region.

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