By Naboth Isaac Niwagaba
Transport was on Wednesday paralyzed in Kabale Town as Kabale Musicians demonstrated against what they described as marginalization by the leadership of the Uganda Musicians Association – UMA.
The group of protesters comprised of Music Artists, Club DJs and Emcees, Comedians and Music Producers flocked the Kabale town streets holding placards with words to express their grievances.
The Protesters claimed that Government through Ministry of Gender and Culture, recently released funds to support Uganda Performming Artists following the lockdown due to COVID 19 that froze the entertainment industry.
However, according to Kabale Musicians, the money was reportedly given out to beneficiaries in Central, Eastern region and some parts of western Uganda, while Kigezi Region did not benefit.
They have now petitioned President Museveni through the office of the Kabale Resident District Commissioner, for intervention.
On the placards, the protesters asked Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, State Minister for Finance David Bahati, Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi and Kabale Woman Mp Catherine Ndamira to “save Kigezi Music.”
The Kabale Musicians Association Vice Chairperson Masiko Tadeo, stage name Simple T said their Association is made up of about 200 members.
Tadeo said some of them had acquired bank loans to hold music shows before the lockdown due to COVID 19.
Asuman Byaruhanga alias Amani Amaniga says the Uganda Music Association – UMA was marginalizing Artists from Kigezi Region. He said government had allocated 60 billion shillings for the Musicians but the leadership of UMA has since failed to explain the fate of the money.
Elton Asiimwe alias Fact Zamani and Kaitesi Nana Sylvia an RnB Artist said they wanted government to follow up the funds it has been giving out to musicians. They said that all the money usually ends in Mbarara city.
We tried reaching the Uganda Musicians Association Chairperson Wycliffe Tugume alias Ykee Benda, but all his known phone numbers were switched off by the time of writing this story.
Meanwhile, the Kabale District Police Commander Brian Ampaire addressed the protestors at Kabale Round About. He blasted the protesters for failing to notify the Police about their demonstration. However, Ampaire invited the Kabale Musicians Leadership for a meeting, and also pledged to guide them in finding a resolution to their concerns.