The Ediriisa Musuuza aka Eddy Kenzo-led Uganda National Musicians Federation seems to be headed for the doldrums, barely two months since its inception. This follows a warning from their own and the National Unity Platform (NUP) President, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi wine, against the impending government financial bonanza in the region of over 30 billion.
Bobi implores them, whom he refers to as ‘fellow artists’ to desist from accepting handouts from government and political meddling, but instead pursue copyright law amendments under the stewardship of Hon. Hillary Kiyaga aka Dr Hilderman. Bobi wine, whilst addressing mourners who included a mammoth united section of artistes, used the fallen artist Paulo Kato Lubwama’s send-off to warn the leadership of the UNMF thus; “The Entertainment Industry, know your worth and realize the value and power of your talent as artists. What you need is the government’s political will.’’
Bobi wine also sternly cautioned artists on accepting handouts from the Government. He warned that such handouts are meant to deviate them from demanding for better laws and policies that will advance their cause, such as the law on Copyright which the government has delayed to pass. In a rebuttal of the said advice, Eddy Kenzo retaliated by arguing that the same Bobi Wine, who was labelling them as beggars, was himself a beneficiary of government handouts in his own political ventures.
The unconventional responses from both camps indicates that whereas many claim to have understood the persons that made the statements, 90% of them are misplaced and uncalled for. For starters, the UNMF President Eddy Kenzo, seems to have deliberately chosen to summarize Bobi Wine’s statement into a single ‘beggar’ word that has riled many. The ugly truth is that Bobi Wine, who doesn’t take prisoners indeed meant that the rushed formulation of the Federation was suspect.
This stemmed from insider information that the Federation was meant to receive a sum of over UGX33Bn from the government which expectation has been the glue that has until now kept the fragile union intact. It should be noted that prior to the official meetings, to official launch of the federation, a series of secret meetings were held at Alur, formerly Serene Suits in Mutundwe, supposedly under the stewardship of a one Esther Akampumuza.
It is further supposedly said that the same Esther, who owns the same hotel, is the orchestrator of the formulation of the various mushrooming federations of which she is now a patron of the Uganda Promoters Federation and a board member of the Uganda National Musicians Federation. Esther, who is no stranger to the operations of some government entities, is said to have zeroed in on Eddy Kenzo and Abbey Musinguzi to realize the two entities existence. This, with an intension to deep her fingers into the UGX33bn, bought thus the reason why all the meetings and seminars have since been held at her rendezvous.
It should be noted that the same hotel has been facing financial woes with bankers. And Esther has since seen it that making her hotel the conducive venue will in turn end into a jack pot that will solve her financial tension.Our sources indicate that the same lady has since been trying to chase remittance for ’bills’ incurred by the separate federations at her hotel. This, in several billion shillings.
Her first attempt was with the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) coordinator Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh, whose office declined to be party of the same. It should be noted that though Saleh has been one of the most sought-after ‘saviours’ of the arts and entertainment industry, he has since parted ways with the same and channelled their issues to the Prime Minister’s office.
This was after the sector failed to come up with streamlined administrative and accounting mechanisms,coupled with selfish and personal interests by some of the persons in the sector. A story is told of how the late Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s office, Keith Muhakanizi, bounced and warned the Premier of his ministry’s unwillingness to engage in matters of the arts/entertainment industry. He advised the Rt. Hon. Robina Nabbanja to channel the same to the right line ministry of Gender Labour and Social Welfare.
However, it should also be noted that there has been a petition by other original bodies in the arts` sector,most especially the National Cultural Forum, through its affiliate Emmanuel Mulondo aka Emma Carlos, who has affirmed that the UNMF that was formed in barely two weeks, side-lining them who have worked for years for the amendment of the copyrights law, was a ploy to chew the 33bn shillings. Indeed, he also agreed with Bobi Wine that trying to chase a lot of 33bn is a bad deal and that instead, they should support Hon. Hillary Kiyaga aka Hilderman in his pursuit to beef up the current law to meet the latest times and trends.
- Mr. Jacko David Waluluka is another unique entertainment and general investigative news writer, a field he has diligently covered for over fifteen years. He’s also the Chief Administrator at The Investigator. He can easily be reached via [email protected]
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