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Labour Ministry Meets Artists Over Shs47bn Stimulus Fund

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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