Residents of Lower Nava Village, Jinja are up in arms after Njeru Municipality Council directed that they pay a 70 percent tax on each car parked at their premises.
The area is close to Nile Discovery Beach which, starting on Thursday until Sunday will host the fifth edition of the annual arts festival, Nyege Nyege.
According to our sourced, most of these residents turn their compounds into private parking lots for the hundreds of cars which ferry the revelers to the festival famed for promoting cultural diversity.
Not to be left out, the municipal council found it wise to stop all private car parking and directed that all revelers park their vehicles at the municipality grounds for between Shs10,000 to Shs50,000 depending on the size car.
This prompted residents to protest saying they are being denied a source of income.
The move called for a protest which led to the deployment of several hundred security operatives armed to the teeth.
“They just don’t want us to make money. If they do not want us to earn a living, let them take Nyege Nyege festival away,” Ms Jude Monica told local Daily Monitor.
Ms. Sharotte Nakato who owns a parking yard said the council is trying to benefit from their sweat.
“We hire these places to make money. But we are surprised that this time round the council wants to benefit from us by taking 70% from each car that is parked,” Ms Nakato said.
The municipality’s decision follows hot on the heels of tough conditions set festival by state minister for ethics, Fr Simon Lokodo on Wednesday.
Some of these include barring participants from engaging in any sexual activity, violence, and drug abuse.
“I do not expect people to attend the festival in attires that leave their breasts or bums out. Women should also not wear bikinis during the day,” Lokodo said, adding that indecency and nudity are totally prohibited.
The minister explained that government, on the advice of President Yoweri Museveni, directed that certain conditions be given to the event organisers prior to the festival