The highly publicized Nyege Nyege festival was called off because of the tense security situation in the country, according to Fr. Simon Lokodo, the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity.
Lokodo disclosed this at a hastily convened press conference at Uganda Media Center on Tuesday evening to explain government’s decision to stop the festival.
The three day annual festival, which attracts people within and outside Uganda, was scheduled to kick off on September 6th at the Nile Discovery Beach in Jinja.
The festival was expected to attract 10,000 revelers. Father Lokodo says they were prompted to stop the festival because of the prevailing security situation and some of the activities that are said to take place during the festival.
Lokodo also noted that the fact that no government security agencies are allowed at the venue of the festival exposes Ugandans to risks.
“At this venue, security agencies are not allowed to come and keep the people safe. We have heard that so many things go on and people lose property. Since we cannot guarantee the security of people, this concert is risky for Ugandans to attend,” he said.
He also highlighted the high costs of the tickets, the duration of the concert, nudity and the burden that the festival imposes on the neighboring communities as some of the reasons for stopping it. Tickets for the festival are going for Shillings 200,000 per person.
According to Lokodo, even the name of the festival itself isn’t good. “The name of the concert is bad itself. In Swahili Nyege means sexually aroused. If we allowed this show to take place, we would be complacent with sexual promiscuity,” he said.
He advised foreign tourists who want to visit Uganda to visit the numerous tourism sites that the country has to offer.
Lokodo explained that he has directed the organisers of the festival to dismantle the stage and everything they had prepared for the festival, adding that security is on high alert to stop whoever attempts to access the venue.