By Ivan Mwine
Singing brothers Joseph Mayanja aka Jose Chameleone and Pius Mayanja alias Pallaso could find themselves behind the bars soon for allegedly flouting COVID-19 regulations by staging a concert in Gulu District, despite the COVID-19 lockdown.
It should be noted that all music concerts were banned in Uganda by president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who also announced a closure of bars, night clubs, video halls and other recreational facilities in a bid to fight the spread of COVID-19.
However, despite the standing COVID-19 regulations, authorities in Gulu city allege that on Eid Day (Tuesday night) Chameleone, Pallaso and other artistes still at large held a concert at a popular night club which was attended by a throng of people, an act that is illegal and was likely to spread a dangerous disease.
Trouble for Chameleone and Pallaso started after one of their fans recorded a video clip of their illegal concert and shared it on social media before it went viral.
In the clip that has since been widely shared on social media, Chameleone is seen performing amidst a crowd at Bus Terminal –a famous hangout in Bardege –Layibi Division in Gulu City.
In the 44 second’s video clip supposedly recorded by one of the revellers, Chameleone is seen singing “Kigwa Leero” amidst hundreds of revellers, the majority were not wearing facemasks and observing the recommended social distance to stop the spread of COVID-19.
However, following the appearance of the video on social media, we have established that the police have since summoned Chameleone and Pallaso to report themselves and record a statement about the allegations, failure to do which they face arrest.
According to David Mudong Ongom, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson the singer held the illegal show on Tuesday night and that police intervened and dispersed the crowd shortly after receiving a tip-off from concerned residents.
Mudong revealed that; “The police have since opened a General Enquiry File –GEF to investigate the circumstance, under which the show was held contrary to the suspension of social gatherings.”
In the same vein, the Gulu Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Denise Odongpiny Odwong, said that police stopped the show and ordered the singer back to his hotel room in Gulu City.
According to Odongpiny, he is still studying the statutory instrument by the Ministry of Health on COVID -19 guidelines to establish whether they take any legal action against the singer.
However, by press time Chameleone, who is the main suspect in the matter, had not yet come out to issue an official statement either denying or admitting the allegations.
t should be noted that last year Nigerian artistes Omah Lay and Ms Tems, were arrested in Uganda for allegedly staging an illegal concert.
They were arrested shortly after their performance at The Big Brunch, a concert that had been held at a hotel owned by a renowned Asian tycoon in Kampala.
The musicians, who later lambasted Ugandan authorities for acting double-faced by giving them licenses to perform in the country and later arresting them, were only released following intervention from the Nigerian embassy in Uganda.