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Police Sets Tough Conditions for Nyege Nyege Festival; Political Processions, Drugs Banned

Some revelers at a previous Nyege Nyege Festival. Courtesy Photo

Uganda Police has met organizers of the Nyege Nyege cultural festival and set tough guidelines, including banning political processions and drugs.

Starting from Thursday, September 05 and ending on September 08, 2019, the festival will happen at the Nile Discovery Beach in Buikwe district’s Njeru town council.

On Tuesday, police and organizers met and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The event made headlines last year after ethics and integrity minister Fr Simon Lokodo sought to block it saying it was satanic, and meant to promote sexual immorality.

“I have received credible information that 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 LGBT movement,” Lokodo wrote to senior security and government officials urging them to block the festival.

But Lokodo would later lose the battle “because of pressure from all sides, my elders and even my own boss, I had to concede defeat”.

“I tried my best to block it, but the devil has a strong hand. I had to backtrack,” Lokodo would later say.

Expected to draw thousands of art lovers and revellers, as well as hundreds of artists, the four-day event’s security will be provided by police and other agencies.

In a statement issued Tuesday, deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye said organisers had agreed to “provide police with a detailed program of the event to inform the deployment of security personnel as well as free access for the Joint security at the venue at any point in time”.

Police’s Tough Conditions for Nyege Nyege Festival

Police has banned narcotics, will block minors from the event, has banned politicking and processions, has banned homosexual acts and open sex, and will take over vetting and accreditation.

Here are the conditions:

Police (Joint Intelligence Committee) to provide accreditation to legible persons after vetting them. Narcotic substances and any form of drug abuse is prohibited. The Canine and Anti-narcotics units have been tasked to ensure compliance to this measure.

Police to ensure that the event is accessed only by adults and anyone whose age is questionable shall be required to provide documentary evidence to prove their age.

Organizers to ensure this festival is not turned into a political event. Processions and political rallies are NOT in the mandate of the Organizers of this festival.

Organizers to provide guidelines to the revelers prohibiting any use of prohibited drugs at the venue, acts of homosexuality, open sex and any other acts considered immoral because the Ugandan culture is a conservative one.

Police to carry out a number of activities in addition to vetting and accrediting. These activities include but are not limited to: covert and overt deployments, intelligence led patrols (foot and motorized), traffic control, aerial surveillance, and access control. The Counter terrorism and Fire and Rescue officers shall be at hand to support this operation.

Security agencies to work closely with other government institutions and Ministries such as Ministry of Health to prevent emergencies such as epidemics. First aid teams and ambulances shall be provided.

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