Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala has faulted the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for foreign Affairs Ababu Namwamba for misusing the annual Isambo cultural festival for selfish gains.
Speaking to the press at his home in Bunyala on Wednesday, Wanjala argued that the festival was community owned and any funds solicited towards it must be fully accounted for.
“Ababu has been begging for funds from foreign officials towards this course and he should account for every bit of it,” he said.
He further blamed Namwamba for hijacking the event from its original inventor (first Bunyala MCA Chris Nakitare) and gliding off its founding ideals of promoting talents, sports, culture and opening Budalangi as a tourist hub.
“After taking over, the festival has become a theatre of prostitution, immorality and a conduit of conning and scams,” he argued
The MP asked the event sponsors to publicize the amount and purpose of the monies they have injected into the event warning that they risked being barred from holding such events in future if they fail to comply.
“We have written to Sport Pesa, Etihad Airways , Fly Emirates and Ababu Namwamba Foundation to publicize the total amount of money they have pumped into the event so that the local residents can scrutinize whether there is value for money,” he said.
Wanjala further requested the National Administration to regulate the activities in such events and ensure that they only take part during the day and its contents are relevant to all ages.
“We wholesomely condemn Isambo festival and invite right thinking members of our constituency to chip in and stop selfish people from pushing their conmanship through a society decaying festival,” he said.
His sentiments were however received with mixed reactions with those against it saying that the festival should continue.
Ms Margaret Wafula, a resident of Port Victoria said the festival should continue since it promotes the community’s culture.
Ms Wafula further stated that no funds were being misused by the event organizers adding that participants are always rewarded both in monetary terms and kind.
Another resident who only identified himself as Guerilla said the festival should continue because it promotes tourism through cultural activities.
Mr. Asman Asis, another resident equated the scrapping of the event to doing away with Christmas arguing that a section of people also use the occasion for unintended purposes.
Francis Obanda, a resident of Bunyala South however said the festival has caused more harm than good to the community with leaders having no respect.
“You cannot organize an event for youth at night without adequate security,” he said adding that such events have contributed to increased teenage pregnancies and HIV prevalence in the area.
The annual festival which is celebrated at Isambo Beach in Bunyala Sub County in December every year was initiated by the first Bunyala MCA Chris Nakitare.
By Salome Alwanda