The management board of Uganda Musicians Association which is moving around the country to register musicians under the body has met a rejection by musicians in Acholi sub region.
The association which is currently being led by Cinderela Sanyu as the President, has so far moved though West Nile, Western Uganda among other regions seeking to register all the musicians in order to benefit from government programs and support.
In the registration workshop held at Acholi Inn in Gulu City on Wednesday, just a handful of the musicians turned up for the meeting on grounds that several musicians from Kampala have been using previous umbrellas to get money from Gen Salim Saleh neglecting them who are within the region.
Lalam Irene alias Liama, claims that in February this year, a few of them were called by a team of musicians from Kampala to meet General Saleh in Gulu with the aim of soliciting for money to help them recover from the financial impact of COVID-19 where a meager transport refund of 300,000 was given but none of them from Gulu received the money.
Lalam says that every time on several occasions, musicians from Acholi sub region have been used to get money from the operation wealth creation boss but none of them benefit from it saying all the money is taken to Kampala.
Romeo Odong, another musician based in Gulu City accuses Uganda Musicians Association for working with one Vincent Okello, who has allegedly been soliciting and getting money in the names of musicians from Acholi Sub region yet they don’t know him and his role in the music industry in the region. Vincent Okello is however, a well known personality and leader of musicians in the sub region.
According to Odong, they have on several occasions been referred to meet Okello by Gen Saleh to register all the musicians in the region in order to benefit any government support yet he hasn’t organized or called them for a meeting.
Gavin Lapoti, the manager of Nile Republic music crew, attributes the rejection of the Uganda musician’s association to the communication gap, corruption and disappointments met by the musicians in the region and those from other parts of the country.
Lapoti says that they want an interim body for musicians in Acholi sub region on the board of Uganda Musicians associations to fight off corrupt tendencies as has been the case initially.
Cinderela Sanyu, the President of Uganda Musicians Associations says the aim of registering all the musicians in the country is not just to benefit from the COVID-19 recovery money from government but to among others form a musicians SACCO, lobby for an arts ministry, access to visas among others.
According to Sanyu, they are not taking the powers of the musicians in the region but propose that an Acholi sub region cluster can be created under the bigger association which is recognized by the government.
Phina Mugerwa, the secretary general of Uganda Musicians Association rubbished the allegations that some musicians from Kampala have been receiving money from Gen Saleh and not sharing with their colleagues from Acholi sub region.
Mugerwa says that musician’s association will help promote unity and leadership among the musicians in the region and the country at large which will in the long run improve the lives of the musicians in the country.
Vincent Okello, who was elected the interim coordinator of musicians in the sub region on Wednesday confirms having gone to Gen Saleh lobbying for financial support for musicians in the sub region but was referred to Micro Finance Support center which is supporting the registration of musicians across the country to benefit from any government support.
Uganda Musicians Association is an apex body for all musicians in Uganda established 4 years ago. It started as a pressure group dubbed as Save Uganda Music.