ICT and National Guidance Minister Judith Nabakooba yesterday suspended the regulations earlier proposed by the government through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to ‘streamline’ the entertainment or arts industry.
The laws required each artiste to submit their work to a select committee at UCC for approval before being consumed by the public. It also required artistes to acquire licenses from UCC before performing anywhere.
Artistes have been protesting the laws in various ways but largely through spitting fire on their social handles and during media interviews.
Following a meeting between artistes and the minister, Nabakooba has said they 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.
According to Hannington Bugingo, a comedian who has been at the forefront of having these laws scrapped, the next step is making recommendations for regulations that “promote our sector and not kill it.”
Performing artists under the National Union of Creative Performing Artists and Allied Workers reached out to Parliament over the regulations on Tuesday and met Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
They termed the laws as “draconian and unfavorable.” Those who met Kadaga included Halima Namakula, Ykee Benda, Rema Namakula, Alex Muhangi and many others. They told the speaker that the new laws will hinder the arts industry. The Speaker promised to follow up on the matter.
Nabakooba has now suspended the regulations pending consultations. “It is unfortunate that we did not thoroughly internalize these regulations when they were being passed. However, I will instruct the Committee of ICT to handle the matter and provide public hearings to your union.”