Ugandan cabinet minister fails in bid to get Nyege Nyege Festival cancelled over LGBT 'celebration'

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  • The nation's minister for ethics and integrity had said the event would "compromise national integrity" and "put our citizens at risk of deviant sexual immorality."
  • Ugandan cabinet minister fails in bid to get Nyege Nyege Festival cancelled over LGBT 'celebration' image
  • Uganda's Nyege Nyege 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 knocked back 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. The letter also stated: "The practice of deviant sexual behaviours has never been condoned in this country. As such, it is our responsibility as government to protect the citizens against such vices... The underlying motive of this heavily advertised event may compromise the national integrity and put our citizens at risk of deviant sexual immorality. I urge you to instruct the Inspector General of Police to stop this event." It's understood that Lokodo was partly basing his information on a notice that began circulating on WhatsApp in the lead-up to the festival. That notice, seen by Resident Advisor, claimed that Nyege Nyege "involves drinking, eating and having all kinds of sexual behaviours, including having sex with animals, open group sex." Lokodo is an outspoken critic of LGBT rights, and he was supportive of a failed anti-homosexuality bill in 2014 that originally included the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality." Homosexual acts remain illegal in Uganda.
    This year's edition of MTN Nyege Nyege Festival will run from September 6th through 9th. The four-day event will see 300 artists from more than 30 countries performing at Nile Discovery Beach in Jinja, by the source of the Nile. Due to the sensitive nature of this story, the comments on this news piece are locked. For more information, please refer to our community guidelines.