Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Jail time for killing others on Social Media

By Esther Nakkazi

For the moment it is wise to cross check death announcements that come through social media in eastern Africa. In the region 'social media deaths' are becoming a common notice. Somehow, a tweet will do the rounds of someone who has died before you know it main stream media has picked it up.

Undoing that requires the officials to appear in public to dispel it. But not anymore for Ugandans who do it.  The government of Uganda is working on a new law to control the use of social media according to the State Minister for Internal Affairs, James Baba.

Minister Baba was quoted by Unwanted Witness,, which had an exclusive interview with him and he said the government is working on a new social media law. 

Concerns have been made by government officials who had been 'killed' by social media but had no law to even summon the offenders. The Parliament committee on ICT was alerted and its the one spearheading this initiative. But is is said that offenders might get big penalties or jail time.  

Pamela Ankunda, ministry of internal affairs spokesperson revealed that the process of having the regulation in place is on course. “The minister hinted on the bill and it should be on cabinet’s order paper now,” Ankunda told Unwanted Witness.

Once endorsed, the social media regulation bill will be added to a list of already existing cyber laws such as the computer misuse act, the anti-pornographic law and the regulations of interception of communications act which all focus on narrowing the online expression space.

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