By Spy Uganda
Let’s start it from the genesis, earlier this year, Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Muhammad Nsereko, tabled the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill for the first reading.
According to Nsereko, the Bill seeks to prohibit the sharing of any information relating to a child without authorisation from a parent or guardian and the sending or sharing of information that promotes hate speech. The Bill further provides for the prohibition of sending or sharing ”false, malicious and unsolicited information.”
“A person who, without authorization, (a) accesses or intercepts any program or another person’s data or information; (b) voice or video records another person; or (c) shares any information about or that relates to another person, commits an offence,” reads clause 2 of the Nsereko’s Bill.
During the plenary sitting on Thursday, the House considered and passed this bill and inserted a new clause to regulate social media. The Clause states that a person who uses social media to publish, distribute or share information, prohibited under the laws of Uganda or using a disguised or false identity, commits an offence.
“Once assented to by the President, the new law will among others ‘enhance’ the protection of children and prohibit the sending or sharing of information that promotes hatred,” Uganda Parliament tweeted on Tuesday.
After that background, allow us inform you however that the Bill faces criticism from civil society activists, media and a cross-section of MPs who claim it encroaches on the freedom of the press.
One of the concerned Ugandans and Human Rights defenders already fighting tooth and nail to bury this Bill is Hon Fred Mukasa Mbidde.
For some of our readers, Mbidde is a Ugandan lawyer, human-Rights activist, mass communication specialist and East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) representing the Republic of Uganda.
Mbidde who was hosted on one of local radio stations in the Capital Kampala on Saturday morning vowed to challenge the Bill in Court should the President assent to it. The Bill, he says violates people’s freedom of expression.
”People have their right to abuse. You can’t filter their freedom of speech. Stop hiding in the law to do evil things against others. If you do silly things they will abuse you. Leave people with their freedom of speech. Because if some one tells you that you are lame, and you think you’re not, just show us the leg, don’t say they have abused you!,” said Mbidde.