Despite Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja’s reassurance that the Nyege Nye Festival will take place as planned, efforts are still underway at parliament to block it from happening.
Hon Nabbanja on Tuesday morning gave a go-ahead to the organizers to carry on with preparations for the festival which is scheduled for September 15-18, 2022 at Itanda Falls.
This was arrived at a joint meeting she held in Kampala with Police Chiefs and officials from the Ministries of Tourism, Gender, and Ethics and Integrity.
The engagement was triggered by Parliament’s directive on Tuesday to have this year’s event cancelled for fear that it was likely to promote indecency and immorality.
However, Nabbanja reported that the organizers had assured them that such acts won’t manifest this time round.
In light of this reversal, she sent the Minister, Office of Prime Minister (General Duties) Justine Kasule Lumumba to carry a message to Parliament.
“She gave me a responsibility to lead a team of Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to come and have a discussion with you (Anita Annette Among) as the head of the Institution and who was the presiding officer yesterday,” Lumumba disclosed.
Hon Lumumba also apologized to the house on behalf of the Premier for making the public pronouncement on Nyege Nyege before harmonizing with parliament on the matter.
On her part, Speaker Anita Annette Among appealed to the Executive arm of Government to refrain from making uncalled pronouncements before the two arms strike a consensus.
“Hon. Chris (Baryomunsi) we also request you to first halt your statements saying that you have given them a go ahead and those kinds of things until we conclude and agree on a position as Government,” Among guided.
Meanwhile, MPs insisted during the plenary that the Nyege Nyege festival should not be allowed to take place.
Hon Sarah Opendi stated that if Nyege Nyege is allowed to proceed, it might lead to an upsurge of monkeypox cases.
“We all know, we still have monkeypox in most of those countries in Europe and from revelations of the Minister for Tourism yesterday was that over 8,000 people are coming from Europe and other parts of the world to this country,” Opendi submitted.
“Aware that we have just come out of the Covid-19 pandemic where we had issues and people were completely locked up for two complete years, what capacity do we have as a country to test for monkeypox where the incubation period is between 6 to 13 days?” she posed.
Speaker of Parliament Hon Among is expected to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Nabbanja tomorrow Thursday to make the final decision on the festival.