Representatives of artists in a group photo with Labour Ministry officials
Yesterday, Monday 21st December, 2020 Mr. Aggrey David Kibenge, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development met with representatives of the Artists’ Union and Associations to discuss their grievances with regard to the Stimulus Fund pledged by Government to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19Lockdown on artists and promoters together with the re-opening of the entertainment places.
The meeting was attended by the Director Labour, Commissioner Culture and Family Affairs, Commissioner Labour, Executive Director Uganda National Cultural Center, the chairperson Board of the Uganda National Cultural Center and members of the National Union of Creative Performing Artists and Allied Workers(NUCPAAW)and National Culture Forum(NCF)and Mr. Owere Wilson Usher, the Chairman General NOTU.
The meeting, which was characterized by candid submissions on the plight faced by stakeholders under the Culture and Creative Industry for now over 9 months since the COVID-19 Lockdown in March 2020, agreed:
- To call off the planned peaceful demonstration by the National Union of Creative Performing Artists and Allied Workers over the delay on the part of Government to mobilise and/or commit resources required to put in place the Stimulus Fund for Artists and Promoters.
- That the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development engages with the Ministry of Health for an authoritative interpretation on easing the lockdown on cinema halls .e.f 14thNovember 2020, as contained in the Ministry of Health update on Covid-19 Response in Uganda of 9thNovember 2020. It is desirable that the amendment to Statutory Rule 14, which allowed meetings or gatherings of not more than 200 persons provided such persons comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), be applied without discrimination to accommodate creative and artistic performances/exhibitions.
- That the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development does not have the required UGX. 47 Billion for the Stimulus Fund within its current budget but will continue to engage within Government with a view to have additional resources provided for the Culture and Creative Industry, as pledged by Government.
- That the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development will continue to work through the established art and culture structures which include the National Culture Forum and the National Union of Creative Performing Artists and Allied Workers on all matters to do with the Stimulus Fund and other matters of this industry.
- That through these recognized structures, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development will periodically update artists on any progress, including doing so within the next two weeks.