The entertainment industry has been on tenterhooks ever since the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development released a proposed set of regulations that all artistes, promoters, events owners have to meet before any sort of performance.
Some of the regulations included, ‘every artiste should be registered under the Ministry of Labor, no artiste will be allowed to shoot a video without authorization from the ministry, and artistes shall not perform for less than 60 minutes or above 120 minutes among others’.
Though it opened with drama, artistes left a meeting organised to discuss bthe proposed Bill with a smile. This after their legal consultant informed them that they can legally challenge this bill. The meeting happened on January 18, at Jahazi Pier, Munyonyo.
According to Norman Mbabazi, of Kiboneka and Mbabazi Advocates, Ministry of Gender has no mandate of proposing regulations on the entertainment industry, because artistes operate under Ministry of Information Technology.
By law, Mbabazi agrees that this bill was passed under right terms because artiste’s representatives signed against the bill, but it was built on wrong grounds.
“Ministry of Gender has proposed this Bill under the ‘Stage Plays and Public Entertainment Act 1943’, how can the Ministry propose a bill under and Act which was formed during the days of colonialism?” asked Mbabazi.
He was of a view that Ministry of Gender would have first reviewed the bill before it is proposed because, a lot of things have changed after 1943, and artiste’s interests are not protected in this proposed bill.
This bill was enacted in 1949, and it was reviewed again for the third time in 2018, and it’s currently ready to be presented to Parliament for amendment.
After the legal assistance, artistes have now agreed to write to Peace Mutuuzo, the gender junior minister, demanding that she explains where the Ministry derives powers to moderate art.
However, some artistes are not so sure what the legal processes will yield, claiming that government has never done anything to support art, but has done a lot to kill it.
Hannington Bugingo, a renowned comedian with Fun Factory, claims that they have forever hassled with the government over copyright but nothing good has been worked upon till now.
“During Makerere University Graduation, the President told graduates to join Comedy, because he knows that Art is a big deal, but with this bill, how will art attract new people?” asked Bugingo.
However, Mbabazi said he’d start the legal process as early as possible and present the feedback after a week.
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