The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has said he will not tolerate music shows; and activities that are laced with politics and warned that in future, citizens, event planners and show promoters will be compensated for shows that have been canceled because of politics.
This came after members of the Uganda Music Promoters and Venue Owners Network met with the president at the State House where they received Shs2 billion as compensation for losses they suffered after police canceled music concerts of the artiste and political activist, Bobi Wine (whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi).
One cannot help but wonder why members of the association would be meeting with the president to collect monies after Bobi Wine, who is also the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, was arrested and his show concealed.
According to our earlier reports, his show was banned because his song contained political activism. The Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga, however, confirmed that officers "engaged Bobi Wine earlier and drove him away from Busabala" but would not confirm whether or not he was formally arrested.
"The President is concerned about harmful music shows that he told us to avoid. He also made it clear that politics in some shows will not be tolerated and warned that he will not compensate anyone in future whose show will be canceled because of politics.
"The President answered our calls and he will be giving us the money to compensate for what promoters lost during the canceled concerts between October and December last year," Tonny Ssempijja, the coordinator of Uganda Music Promoters and Venue Owners Network said.
The Tuesday meeting was also attended by Operation Wealth Creation leaders led by Gen Saleh, Gen Angina and Micro Finance minister Haruna Kasolo and the State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Ms. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi.
The group of artists included Mr. Geoffrey Lutaaya of the New Eagles, Ms. Mariam Ndagire, Ms. Sofie Gombya, and Ykee Benda. The music promoters were represented by Mr. Andrew Benon Kibuuka and Mr. Ssempijja as well as the association of the Umbrella for Ugandan Bouncers Association.
There is no doubt that the move has further cemented the side which the music associations are on in the ongoing spat between Bobi Wine and the president. Collecting monies for compensation for a show when the where about of the performing artist himself is unknown speaks volume.
In accepting funds and opening their arms to further donations, the associations and artists have agreed to the president’s demands of separating music from politics. If artists cannot educate the people politically through art and music, then there is a problem.
We still await a reaction from Bobi Wine’s camp on the meeting and will keep you updated once he breaks his silence.
What are your thoughts?
Header Image credit: eDaily Kenya