What you need to know:
- Maj Gen Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi, who visited Jinja City and the bank of the River Nile where the popular music festival Nyege Nyege will be held from today, said they are in control and “nothing” will happen to the revellers.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) has downplayed the terror alerts issued by the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) in Jinja City, describing them as rumours before urging the partying to continue.
Maj Gen Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi, who visited Jinja City and the bank of the River Nile where the popular music festival Nyege Nyege will be held from today, said they are in control and “nothing” will happen to the revellers.
“We have been having all these threats in the country; nothing is new and there is nothing extraordinary over and above what we have been experiencing,” Maj Gen Katsigazi said.
On Tuesday, the US and UK issued advisories, warning their citizens against visiting Jinja City, two days before the start of the popular Nyege Nyege Festival.
“The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) advises against all but essential travel to Jinja Town. There is a growing terror threat in Uganda, including targeting of foreigners. Avoid large gatherings, including large scale worship, and music and cultural festivals in Uganda,” the statement by the UK High Commission reads in part.
Another alert by the US Mission read: “Due to increased terrorist activity, US Embassy Kampala recommends that individuals exercise an elevated degree of caution and reconsider attendance at upcoming large public gatherings, such as large-scale worship services and music and cultural festivals in Kampala and Jinja.”
Maj Gen Katsigazi said they are taking all means to ensure that security is guaranteed and Allied Democratic Front (ADF) elements threatening peace of the country would be arrested.
“I urge the general public not to be diverted by rumours of ordinary terror threats directed to Jinja City because of the upcoming events in the sub-region,” Maj Gen Katsigazi said.
At least three activities are lined up to take place in Busoga Sub-region this month, including Nyege Nyege, the Busoga royal wedding (November 18) and the consecration of the East Busoga Bishop-elect in Bugiri (November 19).
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Jinja Zonal spokesperson, Capt George Musinguzi, said the aforementioned events will attract a big number of people from across Uganda and the globe.
“As security, we would like to inform the people of Busoga that despite the terror threats, we are in charge,” Capt Musinguzi said.
This year’s Nyege Nyege Festival will be held across four venues, including the Source of the Nile, Nile Park, Jinja Golf Ground and Jinja Agricultural Showground.
But by Tuesday, most social-gathering places within Jinja City and Njeru municipality in Buikwe District were teeming with UPDF, police, and private security agents, among others.
Mr James Mubi, the Kiira regional police spokesperson, said security vigilance is right from Malaba border and Busia to monitor the kind of passengers travelling in public and private vehicles.