Nobody can stop Nyege

Raymond Mujuni

What you need to know:

  • It explains why, many Ugandans stir up in anger at convoys that break traffic rules, endure hospitals without drugs and sympathize with poorly funded public schools.

The Faustian bargain of Uganda’s politics is that for all the larceny, incompetence and malfeasance that the political leadership displays, the basic social freedoms, even those that teeter on the edge of lawlessness are not aggressed upon.

It explains why, many Ugandans stir up in anger at convoys that break traffic rules, endure hospitals without drugs and sympathize with poorly funded public schools.

There are no tough political punishments for that incompetence and in return, the population enjoy a degree of freedom – prostitutes, call them sex workers moving forward, vend from as close as the Parliament building and State House despite the act being illegal. Small casinos operate out of the law from across the central police stations and occasionally, a hawker will rest their produce at the KCCA building to tighten their belt or refresh from a long day despite hawking being chalked down as illegal.

Uganda is built on ‘moving slowly’ against those with and without power. Even political cases, prosecutors show up to court half-hearted, ready to put in the bare minimum to allow the opponents of the government get away.

It’s the cup of devil’s piss that we drink from to keep the wheel of this thing going.

It then emerges as a shocker that Parliament wants to alter that Faustian bargain by blocking Nyege Nyege festival, an annual social event scheduled to happen in Jinja District.

First, nobody can stop nyege, rather, reggae.

Second, not for the reason that Parliament is giving.

Legislators say that Nyege Nyege is the axis of immorality presided over by Beelzebub himself! They argue that at the event Ugandans engage in wanton sex, drug abuse and immorality that cannot be stomached by the Ugandan psyche. The Speaker is willing to put government on the edge waging a war between the legislature and executive just to stop the enjoyments.

Read rule one; Nobody can stop reggae.


In truth, adult Ugandans have a right to have sex, with consenting partners. If you have a problem with it, please, like a young Kenyan lawyer told the Supreme Court recently, Get Over It!

How they have that sex, who they have it with, where they choose to have it and the frequency of it is really a matter out of the ambit of Parliament. There are laws that govern all the ‘immoralities’ that parliament points out and I guess the Uganda police is in hand to enforce those laws.

The canal obsession about people’s sexual lives is really age-old. God forbid, we throw a torch into who the movers of this are having sex with – a conflict of interest might arise. How, for example, would we vet the decision of the Speaker in allowing Magogo to speak on the floor of Parliament? Immoral?

Again, let us not open any cans, Nyege Nyege should go on, just as Parliament and it’s walking skeletons should proceed – some day we shall negotiate the Faustian bargain but that day isn’t today.



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