Sexting will now have you arrested in Uganda
Uganda on Monday named a nine-member anti-pornography team to prevent use or distribution of pornographic material in the country.
According to the Anti-Pornography Act, 2014, the team is required to identify, seize and destroy any pornographic material.
They are also mandated to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators as well as promote the rehabilitation of individuals affected by pornography.
Uganda’s Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo said the committee will acquire top-end gadgets to monitor and or intercept, downloading, watching, sharing and or transmission of electronic pornographic material.
The Uganda Communications Commission, which has been co-opted, will deal with media and cinema proprietors who broadcast such material.
Mr Lokodo said the government would spend Sh60,000 million (Ush2 billion) each year to fund the activities of the committee which was inaugurated in Kampala on Monday.
According to Mr Lokodo, the team will have a dedicated technical staff of between 30 and 40.
The minister, who has been on a public campaign against pornography, said it is “one of the deadliest moral diseases in this country” that needed to be stopped if the country was to attend to development.
“Pornography is now eroding Uganda’s human resource,” he said, adding that “this will in turn hinder the achievement of our vision.”
“The display, sale and circulation of pornographic images in the print and electronic media is one of the key reasons we have escalating cases of drug abuse among youths, incest, teenage pregnancy and abortion, homosexuality and lesbianism and defilement,” he said.
The committee will be chaired by Dr Annette Kezaabu Kasimbazi, a journalism and communications lecturer at the Makerere University.
Here is how the news was received on social media after the team was inaugurated:
Uganda isn’t a convent; sex is high up on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for many. Porn committee should invest time in finding cure for cancer https://t.co/j2ChimhunI
— Mordecai Musonge (@MordecaiMicah) September 6, 2017
In Uganda text messages construed to be leading to sex [sexting] will be defined as porn and attract punishment says the porn committee! https://t.co/4hMBmCBvmR
— Okecha91 (@luo_legend) September 6, 2017
Ugandan govt to punish those exchanging ‘Sexts’ (text msgs of a sexual nature)as porn committee begin work
+ $88,000 porn detection machine https://t.co/VERKZrRBpg
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) September 6, 2017
Excuse my language Dr. this is absolute poppycock! Go save a life, educate a person or even say a prayer but don’t patronize Ugandans ? pic.twitter.com/0BSTXjqSnn
— Cedric B. Ndilima (@CedricNdilima) September 7, 2017
In #Uganda there is a committee called : Pornography Control Committee (PCC) and they are buying An $88,000 porn-detection machine!
— Mr Dynamics (@p_bahati) August 31, 2017
Anti porn committee? really? Government of Uganda, really? 2Bn shillings, really? Aren’t we losing sight of our priorities as a nation?
— Solomon Serwanjja (@SolomonSerwanjj) August 29, 2017
Uganda has a porn committee?Headed by a scholar?What does it do?Unbelievable.
— Nyangaresi,AB (@Pundit254) September 6, 2017
Porn committee!porn detection machine! Wth, Uganda we’re done now!!!! https://t.co/bjhO5gkmhz
— Phinehas McFinn (@Pmuthomi) September 6, 2017