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Why Ugandan Parliament has banned Nyege Nyege Festival

By Winnie Mabel September 6th, 2022 2 min read

The Ugandan Parliament has banned the annual Nyege Nyege Festival. Speaking to the Daily Monitor on Tuesday, the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Rose Lilly Akello said that the event promotes immorality and it is not wanted in Uganda.

“The matter was on floor in Parliament, I had to give my side of the coin and Parliament has resolved that with all what entails Nyege Nyege must stop because they take underage children, they do a lot of immoral activities there that are not even worth to be mentioned,” the minister said.

According to records from the Ugandan Parliament, Speaker Anitah Among said they were not going to allow the function to take place in the name of promoting tourism.

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“We are talking about morality of this country; we are talking about our children. You are trying to promote tourism at the expense of our children? We are not going to allow this function to take place,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker’s sentiments were echoed by the Tororo Woman Member of Parliament Honorable Sarah Opendi who said the event was a breeding ground for sexual immorality.

The female legislators were able to win the debate and ban after the Minister of State for Tourism, Honorable Martin Mugarra, failed to adequately defend the event as a hub for tourism. He also revealed that 8,000 foreign tourists had already booked tickets to attend the event that had been scheduled to take place in Jinja.

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The ban attracted both positive and negative reactions, with some saying the foreign exchange would have been beneficial to their economy which they branded as struggling.

“Don’t be lazy, the festival attracts nearly 10k foreigners and that’s foreign exchange for our struggling economy. There’s no wrong in adults having sex #HandsOffNyegeNyege,” wrote Gabriel Buule.

“Funny sad how there’s alot of things happening in the country and y’all sat down only to put your focus and attention on Nyege Nyege. Teacher’s salary, doctor’s salary, the hunger in Karamoja and the economy 😩,” wrote Iman Moslem Child.

“With due respect Madam Speaker there are some places like kataba in kabalagala where people have sex in public and on a daily basis. Nyege Nyege is just a two-day event and takes place in one region of this country. I wonder how it appears to be of national importance yet we have more,” wrote Tumwine Daniel.

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“As a former attendee of this ‘social’ event. I welcome this decision. Nyege Nyege disguises as a fun social event but is a hub for every type of degeneration,” wrote Ntambi Essie.

“The corruption that’s rampart in Uganda on your daily watch, however my advice would be you guys putting up guidelines to be followed by the organizers and the participants in this festival, Kale am here wandering, if you are rooting for economic empowerment of this nation,” wrote Mugisha Josepha.

This year’s edition of Nyege Nyege Festival was scheduled for September 15-19 at a camping site on the banks of River Nile. The festival brings focus to electronic music scenes from across the world and 300 performers due to attend the event.