Gideon Sanyu Ntabose, the organizer of the cultural festival who also doubles as Kasese District LC V Vice Chairman accuses police of dishonesty. Ntabose insists that he notified police about the festival and accuses the force of acting on rumors.
Cultural performers at Kololo Ceremonial grounds
Police has stopped the Rwenzori Cultural Festival that has been ongoing at Trans-African Inn in Kasese town. The cultural festival that had lasted for a week was meant to go on for two weeks. The festival was aimed at showcasing the culture, norms, cultural dances, local foods, style and fashion of the different ethnic groups in Rwenzori region.
However, police raided the festival venue on Monday and ordered the organisers and exhibitors to vacate the area. Police also threw out local music artist Gereson Wabuyi alias Gravity Mutujju who was lined up to perform for the guests. The Rwenzori East Region Police Spokesperson, Vincent Twesige, says they were forced to stop the cultural event because it was organized in contravention of the Public Order Management Act, which regulates public gatherings. He says security was never involved in the organisation of the cultural festival.
But Gideon Sanyu Ntabose, the organizer of the cultural festival who also doubles as Kasese District LC V Vice Chairman accuses police of dishonesty. Ntabose insists that he notified police about the festival and accuses the force of acting on rumors. "I did everything to ensure that this festival happens including writing to police. If we had not informed them, how come we have been here for more than a week and they did not interfere? Police must be having its own reasons,” he said.
Rumors were circulating in town that the Kyadondo East legislator, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine would perform at the festival. Ntabose dismisses claims that Bobi Wine would perform at the event. This is the second event police was blocking in the region. On Sunday last week, police also blocked a graduation function at Native International. The school has scheduled to pass out several students who had completed training in video editing, photography and film making at Kasese Secondary School.
Police declined to give reasons for blocking the graduation and issuance of certificates to the participants. However, a source at Rwenzori East Region Police headquarters told URN on condition of anonymity that they had intelligence that the organisation had been in contact with Robert Kyagulanyi, the Kyadondo East legislator.
Police have in the past blocked several music concerts organised by Kyagulanyi accusing him of using them for political campaigns. However, last week, parliament directed police to stop blocking Kyagulanyi's concerts following his plea to the house. Several events organisers and music promoters also petitioned the speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, saying the police decision to block Bobi Wine's concerts is costing them huge sums of money.