Uganda is proposing a new law that will require musicians to seek government permission to perform outside the country

Peace Mutuuzo, Uganda's minister, says the new regulations will govern the music and entertainment industry.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni prepares to deliver his state of the nation address in the capital Kampala June 4, 2015. REUTERS/James Akena
  • Ugandan government drafts new laws and regulations to vet new songs and place restrictions on the country's artists.
  • Musicians and other artists will also have to register with the government and obtain a practising licence which can be revoked for a range of violations.
  • Actors, movie directors and lawyers kick against the new laws and regulations.

The Ugandan government has drafted new laws and regulations to vet new songs and place restrictions on the country's artists.

Peace Mutuuzo, Uganda's minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, revealed this in an interview with Reuters.

Mutuuzo said the new regulations will govern the music and entertainment industry and they were already drafted and expected to be passed by cabinet by March 2019.

We cannot continue condoning as a country abusive language. This is one thing we know has been happening within the creative industry. People compose songs to abuse others,” Reuters quoted Mutuuzo as saying.

According to a report by Reuters, the proposed regulations state that:

  • Musicians and other artists will also have to register with the government and obtain a practising licence which can be revoked for a range of violations.
  • Any artist or entertainer who is in gross breach of the guidelines shall have his/her certificate revoked.
  • Artists to submit lyrics for songs, scripts for film and stage performance to the government for vetting.
  • Musicians will also have to seek government permission to perform outside Uganda.
  • Content deemed to contain offensive language, to be lewd or to copy someone else’s work, will be censored.

Artists, lawyers kick against the law

Actors and movie directors have criticised the new laws and regulations. Uganda human rights lawyer Ladislas Rwakafuzi described the regulations as a direct move against Bobi Wine and other government critics in the entertainment industry.

The East African government led by President Yoweri Museveni is facing opposition from the 36-year-old singer, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine.

Bobi Wine, a former parliamentarian, has been using his lyrics to advocate for ghetto residents in Uganda as well as a voice against the government.

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