The Ugandan government is proposing regulations including vetting new songs in a move that critics say is aimed at discouraging negative comments about the authorities who are rattled by the popularity of pop star Bobi Wine.
Among the regulations are a range of restrictions including requiring artists to submit lyrics for songs and scripts for film and stage performances to authorities to be vetted.
Robert Kyagulanyi, known to many as Bobi Wine, has amassed a huge following as a singer and politicians. Last year, he was arrested on various charges, and his influence could have led to this latest move.
Within that time, he amassed a large following among the country’s disillusioned youths for the biting criticism of the government contained in his lyrics.
Content deemed to contain offensive language, to be lewd or to copy someone else’s work, will be censured, the minister said. Musicians will also have to seek government permission to perform outside Uganda.
We cannot continue condoning as a country abusive language. This is one thing we know has been happening within the creative industry. People compose songs to abuse others.
Musicians and other artists will also have to register with the government and obtain a practicing license which can be revoked for a range of violations.
“Any artist or entertainer who is in gross breach of the guidelines shall have his/her certificate revoked,” a copy of the proposed regulations seen by Reuters reads.