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Stage and public entertainment rules halted by ICT minister

ICT Minister Judith Nabakooba with some of the members belonging to the creative arts industry after the meeting. PHOTO | COURTESY

Those in the creative arts have breathed a big sigh of relief after the Minister Of ICT and National Guidance, Judith Nabakooba, has said she will advise Uganda Communications Commission to halt the implementation of the regulations provided for in the “Stage Play and Public Entertainment Rules 2019 and Film Documentaries and Commercial Still Photography Regulations 2019”.

After days of back and forth efforts from some sections of the entertainment sector and disgruntled artists including Ykee Benda, Sylver Kyagulanyi and others airing their grievances on social media, the minister met some of the leaders in the entertainment industry and they reached an agreement.

“We are going to form an inter-ministerial technical committee to discuss matters of regulations and other issues to deal with the music and art industry,” Nabakooba said.
Hannington Bugingo, the president of the Uganda Comedians Association and chairperson of the pressure group, Free the Arts, who was also part of the meeting said they are, “…going to embark on a fact finding solution and get rules and regulations that promote our sector and not kill it.”

Some of the regulations being contested included:
Each performance of an artist will not happen unless the artist or performer receives a permit from “the commission”.
Before a person puts up any form of public performance in any location, they will need to apply to the commission for a permit and;
*submit personal information,
*name the location for the performance
*Include a copy of the script (which must be translated to English if not originally in English)
*Include any music/song which is to be used, and include a certified translation
*Pay the application fee and attach proof of payment of the application.

After submission of this, “the commission” will according to the information available decide whether the artist in question is eligible to showcase their art or not.

No person shall advertise their public performance in any way without submitting a written application to “the commission” showing that they own (or have permission) for the works to be performed and that the local government in the area has allowed them to advertise in their area.

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