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National Theatre Will Not Be Demolished - Govt

The theatre, situated at Dewinton road in the heart of Kampala, is supposed to be the epicentre of the history, heritage and culture of Uganda. Its auditorium has hosted cultural and artistic activities, and provided a home to art, culture and entertainment societies, groups and organizations over the years.
The current national cultural centre located in Kampala

Audio 2

Government has no plan to demolish the National Theatre. Instead, it is envisioning a Public Private Partnership through which the theatre will be transformed into a mega complex with state of the art equipment and facilities, State Minister for Gender and Culture Peace Mutuuzo says.

The theatre, situated at Dewinton road in the heart of Kampala, is supposed to be the epicentre of the history, heritage and culture of Uganda. Its auditorium has hosted cultural and artistic activities, and provided a home to art, culture and entertainment societies, groups and organisations over the years.

But recently, reports emerged that the facility is up for sale, a development which raised unease among Ugandans, singers and actors.

To allay the fears, Mutuuzo says that the current National Theatre will not be demolished or given to parliament, but it will be renovated and preserved, according to a plan which has received a nod from cabinet, the board of the Uganda National Cultural Centre and the Ministry of Gender.

Mutuuzo told journalists in Kampala that government is now in talks with a number of partners to develop appropriate architectural designs for the multifaceted facility adding that government will maintain ownership of the facility and share responsibility for service delivery with the private developers.

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Mutuuzo says the development is especially targeting the East African Arts and Culture Festival dubbed JAMAFEST (Jumiiya ya Afrika Mashariki utamaduni), 2017 to be hosted in August next year. The festival will bring together over 4000 from different parts of the world.

She says Government has a long term plan to establish cultural centres in all the 14 industrial areas across the country.

Benon Kigenyi, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Gender says that the National Theatre is struggling to attract visitors and also motivate performers. He says the projected development will ensure that performance and arts gets the attention of Africa and the world in general.

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Okello Kelo Sam, a board member of the National Cultural centre welcomed the development stating that the current facility is too old and congested. He says that in its current state, the theatre cannot host major events because its single auditorium, opened in 1959, is not up to standards.