By Ivan Mwine
A bitter war is raging on amongst musicians and music promoters over Shs5.6 billion that was released for them last week by State House as COVID-19 relief funds.
Our moles reveal that the government budgeted Shs10 billion as money to be given to artistes and promoters who were affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, which saw the closure of recreation centres and banning of music concerts.
We have established that the deal, which was reportedly brokered by singer Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool and others, materialized into fruits when the government released the said Shs5.6 billion as part payment out of the Shs10 billion.
It is said that out of this Shs5.6 billion, comedians received Shs400 million, while composers and writers didn’t get a dime. This has however sparked off turmoil amongst musicians, as many of them demand to know who received how much.
Composers, writers, actors, actresses, and other artistes have also raised a storm, demanding to know why they were sidelined by the government yet they were also affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We demand transparency in this matter, such that we know which group or individuals received how much,” Andrew Benon Kibuuka, a key figure in the entertainment industry said Sunday.
Kibuuka added that; “They should produce a list of all the artistes and promoters who received money such that those who didn’t can make their claim.”
However, it should be noted that several promoters and artistes have since become tight-lipped about the matter after receiving the money.
It is not yet clear what criteria the government followed when dishing out the billions to the artistes and our efforts to secure comment from the State House Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe about the matter were futile since our phone calls went unanswered.
But we shall bring you the details about this multibillion scandal as they emerge.