Uganda Bans Popular International Music and Art Festival Blames it on the Gays

For fear that some LGBTI people may show up?- Well that in truth is what it boils down to! Using gays as scapegoats again is a basic human rights infraction. I do not think the Ugandan people will fall for this ploy…

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 12.04.07 AMUganda’s misguided minister for ethics and integrity, Simon Lokodo, who is obsessed with what he perceives as his critical fight against homosexuality, is at it again, and this time he has banned a popular four-day international music and arts festival based on allegations that it is a “celebration of homosexuality”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Minister Simon Lokodo said the government had “information that open sex, noise, homosexuality, LGBTI will be part of” the Nyege Nyege festival, which is due to start on 6 September.

Lokodo says:

“This is close to devil worshiping and not acceptable.”

“The very name of the festival is provocative. It means “sex, sex” or urge for sex.”

He also said that the festival a security risk, saying “there will be nudity and sexuality done at any time of the hour”.

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The festival is sponsored by South African telecom company MTN and its partners include Coca Cola and the British Council.

According to BBC’s Patience Atuhaire in the capital Kampala, the festival is popular among young and urban Ugandans and has been an annual event since 2015.

One must also note that indeed at this time the Ugandan government has been preventing crowds from gathering, often dispersing them with bullets and mayhem. This is because recent political opponents have been seen to be receiving support in their political opposition to the Museveni Regime’s suppression of all political discourse. Museveni, known for his despotic rule and feigned democracy, has been in power for over 30 years, going even further to secure his position by his push for the recent change in Parliament to the legislation that would have aged him out of future elections. The act of Lokodo is in lock step with the regime.


The festival will go ahead despite calls from Simon Lokodo, the East African nation’s minister for ethics and integrity, for the event to be cancelled because it had been used in the “recruitment of young people into homosexuality.”

The government reversed Lokodo’s recommendation, which he presented in a letter to Uganda’s prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda and other senior government and law enforcement officials on September 3rd.

“I have received credible information that from religious readers, 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,” he wrote.

Last year, the country’s censorship board banned a Dutch film, The Dinner Club, after accusing it of “glorifying homosexuality” the Embassy of The Netherlands in Kampala said at the time.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda and the LGBT community has faced persecution, physical attacks and social rejection.

By Melanie Nathan.

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