By Donald Kiirya
The First Deputy Prime Minister and also Minister for East Africa Community Affairs, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, has appealed the organisers of the Nyege Nyege Festival to stage it again at Itanda Falls in Jinja so as to promote the area.
She made the call while at the festival venue on Sunday, September 18.
Kadaga, who arrived at around 4:30pm, was accompanied by security personnel and Busoga Kingdom’s Minister of Tourism Hellen Namutamba, who led her to tour various stalls to get a feel of what was going on at the Nyege Nyege Festival from September 15-18.
Kadaga later officially opened the gate of the entrance of the festival while in the company of Ali Alibhai, the chief executive officer of Talent Africa Group and judge David Batema.
She was seen interacting with tourists and taking photos with them. She also recorded a video at the 360 UG Unforgettable stall.
Kadaga was later taken to the Uganda Waragi stall where she signed a banner, which stated: “I grant you this freedom of Busoga. Make this your home.”
While addressing journalists, Kadaga said the Nyege Nyege Festival enabled locals to sell their eggs, chicken, meat, drinks and sweets, among others, and there were a number of operators who ran eating hubs.
Kadaga also wrote on her Twitter account, “I took time off to visit the Nyege Nyege Festival at Itanda falls, accompanied by Mr. Alibhai of Talent Africa, Mr. Baguma, brand ambassador of Uganda Waragi, chatting with some international guests.”
She thanked Nile Breweries Limited and Uganda Waragi for making Itanda their home and for commissioning Nyege Nyege as the biggest festival in East and Central Africa.
“Thank you for bringing it to Jinja, we want it to remain in Jinja and promote Itanda, Uganda,” Kadaga said, adding that she is going to report to the Cabinet what she saw at Nyege Nyege and what they should do.
She said Nyege Nyege being an annual event, the Government can take interest in working on the roads, power, security and improving the tourism sector facilities.
Alibhai assured Kadaga that they would re-organise the Nyege Nyege Festival at Itanda.
Later, heavy rains fells on Itanda and left some of the revellers wet, but they kept enjoying the music.
The Kiira region Police spokesperson, James Mubi, said the festival was relatively safe apart from some petty thefts that occurred. They managed to arrest culprits.