Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police have issued a stern warning to a section of people in the entertainment industry on their planned demonstration against the continued ban of concerts in the country.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said they aware of a planned demonstration on Wednesday at National Theatre in Kampala by artistes, comedians and music promoters protesting the ban of on concerts that was imposed a year ago by the government to reduce the further spread of COVID-19.
Speaking to reporters at police headquarters Naguru, Enanga explained that although peaceful assemblies are allowed by the constitution, such assemblies cannot be allowed in this period of the pandemic. He says police will not hesitate to arrest anyone trying to defy the Ministry of Health directives that prohibit gatherings.
“In this period, the safety of Ugandans is our first priority, your aware we have started registering another new wave of COVID-19 which is actually more dangerous than the previous one, so we’re calling upon those musicians and promoters to have this on their mind before engaging in a demonstration that won’t help them,” Enanga said.
He advised the artistes and promoters to engage the Ministry of Health and explain all their concerns and see whether the Ministry can consider their points since the country has started the vaccination process, instead of resorting to demonstrations plans.
Since March of last year, no artiste has been authorized to hold a concert, with the Ministry of Health viewing such events as a hazard that would easily escalate the spread of COVID-19. However, promoters who spoke to URN have vowed to continue with their demonstration.
Abe Musinguzi of Abetex Promotions, one of the organisers who is mobilizing artistes to gather on Wednesday said they will gather at National Theatre and march with their petition to the President’s office and express their dissatisfaction.
He says they have severally been appealing to government to think about the industry in general, saying that they have been hit hard yet other sectors that gather many people like religious institutions are functioning.
He now vows to continue with their plans regardless of police warnings and threats to arrest them.