Artists and stakeholders in the entertainment Industry have protested government’s new regulatory proposals that require singers, poets, comedians to submit their works and scripts for review and approval by government agencies before they can be released to the public.
The protest comes shortly after members of Bizonto, a comedy group, were arrested for allegedly fanning tribalism.
The government has set seven conditions for all musicians to follow if they are to perform anywhere in Uganda.
According to government, the rules and regulations are aimed at streamlining and promoting sanity in the art and entertainment industry.
But according to Isaac Rucci, the president of the Federation of Gospel Artistes of Uganda, these rules are not fair.
“We are going to the courts of law.The Uganda Musicians Association (UMA) is going to write to the president and the speaker of parliament,” he said during NBS Uncut Sabula on Saturday night.
Rucci said these new regulations are bad for the industry therefore government should not downplay the creative industry because it contributes to the country’s GDP.
“The new laws and regulations imposed on the music industry will not work.They are oppressive. They deny the theatre, creative industries, and musicians the freedom to express themselves freely,”he said.
John Segawa, a veteran actor said that they are more than ready to fight because the new rules and regulations were imposed with the aim to divide musicians.
“Musicians are not responsible for the way fans comprehend/understand their music. Vulgarism is not strong enough as an excuse for these new rules and regulations,”Segawa said.
Segawa said that the new rules and regulations imposed on the music industry are politically driven.
Here are the tough rules and regulations:
1. A committee may be forced to ask a musician or a video/film producer a ransom before recording the video so that she/he does not break the laws and guidelines the committee has given them to follow while recording the video
2. A special committee has been formed to analyze any play or a song or a film Before premiering it or recording it from the studio the committee must first go through it and if any changes do happen, still the committee must be informed.
3. A play or song be it a film written in local languages before going to the committee to get permission one must first rewrite or translate them in English.
4. Video/film producers, photographers who take photos of artists before doing any business with artists, they must first seek permission from the committee.
5. A musician before recording any video of the approved song has to first seek permission from the committee and also must inform the committee of the venue he/she is going to record from and even must include in all materials to be used in the video.
6. It will be a crime for any artist to perform in any show or in the public without a license from the ministry of ICT.
7. An actor or a musician to carry out any show or to perform in any show must first seek permission from the committee which will be formed by both UCC and Ministry of ICT, the committee will decide the amount one will pay to be given that permission.