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Museveni signs into law Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill 

President Museveni

President Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which was passed by parliament recently. 

Sponsored by Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko, the law makes it a crime to write, send or share hateful, unsolicited, misleading, or malicious information online. 

The law also criminalizes the use of photos on social media without the express permission of the owners. The act also prohibits sharing information, which is likely to degrade, or ridicule another person, group of persons, tribe, religion, ethnicity, or gender, and about children without the consent of their parents or guardians.

If convicted, a person found guilty of recording another person’s voice or video without their permission and unauthorized access to personal information will be fined Shs 10 million or imprisoned for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.

While justifying the penalty on the floor of parliament, attorney general Kiryowa Kiwanuka said that it was important to provide severe punishment in order for the law to be a deterrent. Museveni signed the bill despite appeals from different sections of the public not to sign it.

Last month, the Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), which advocates for media rights, wrote to the president, saying that the amendment has several clauses that raise more questions than provide answers. He cited clause 2(a), which seeks to make unauthorized access to information an offence. 

HRNJ noted that this particular clause fails to define, which information about someone can be shared without one risking legal peril and that it also infringes on the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression and of the media.

“The limitations of this protection have been laid down by the Supreme court of Uganda in the case of Charles Onyango Obbo V attorney general and clearly this bill seeks to go way and beyond that,” HRNJ said in its letter. 

It also notes that there is a rise in the concept of citizen journalism where people film and forward rights abuses, which have in the past led to the successful prosecution of perpetrators.

The letter also argues that other clauses such as the one that deals with the privacy of children also disregard the fact that some of the gruesome acts against them are committed by their parents.

"Therefore, if one must seek the consent of their parents to film, let alone circulate such a video, this will perpetuate the abuse of children’s rights," HRNJ noted.

Besides the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act, Museveni has also assented to the Kampala Capital City (Amendment) Act, 2022, the Mining and Minerals Act, 2022, and the Physical Planners’ Registration Act, 2022.

The Kampala Capital City (Amendment) Act, 2022 allows the minister for Kampala to determine the emoluments of the speaker, deputy speaker, and their division counterparts. It also empowers the minister to consult with the ministers of Finance and Public Service to determine the emoluments payable to these political leaders. 

The Kampala Capital City Authority (Amendment) Act 2015, which established the positions of speaker and deputy speaker was silent on their facilitation and emoluments. 

Parliament later recommended that the KCCA Act be amended to ensure that the minister has powers to determine the emoluments of the political leaders. The Mining and Minerals Act, 2022 which was passed early this year, seeks to organize, register, license, regulate and transform artisanal and small-scale mining.

On the other hand, the Physical Planners’ Registration Act, 2022 provides for the establishment of a Physical Planners' Registration Board to provide for the registration of physical planners in Uganda.

The law also provides a legal framework through which physical planners are regulated and intends to solve the challenges of unplanned physical developments in urban and rural areas, violation of minimum physical planning standards, and abuse of environmentally sensitive areas, among others. 


+6 #1 Lysol 2022-10-13 18:51
Museveni, it is my computer I can use it the way I want. You use yours the way you want, if you really know how.
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+1 #2 kabayekka 2022-10-13 21:26
It seems the sudden control of physical planners might just buy more time for Lake Nalubaale the environmental onslaught of up hazard development until 2066 when this tropical fresh water body will start to dry out!
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+5 #3 rwigyema 2022-10-13 21:54
this law was needed but the execution is poor they have over-done it.. it will impossible to implement this law to the last dot.. its not practical or realistic at all. Draconian is the word.
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+3 #4 Apollo 2022-10-13 22:33
Strange that it is named "Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act". It should have been appropriately named 'Social Media Misuse Act'.

Technology is getting to a point where non-human intelligent tools using machine learning (artificial intelligence) will soon overtake human proficiency, particularly in the area of social media. What then will our Ugandan smarties do? Jail the machines?
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+1 #5 Uhuru 2022-10-14 09:00
Quoting Apollo:
Strange that it is named "Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act". It should have been appropriately named 'Social Media Misuse Act'.

Technology is getting to a point where non-human intelligent tools using machine learning (artificial intelligence) will soon overtake human proficiency, particularly in the area of social media. What then will our Ugandan smarties do? Jail the machines?

Machine learning and artificial intelligence do not mean the same thing. But you raise a very good point.
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-12 #6 Wainanchi 2022-10-14 09:24
Bravo president Museveni
Just on.time!

Now Uganda security must be tasked to locate andbappeehend evil and harmful commentators like Lakwena, Akot ,Kabakka Yeka and few others

One who was very frequent hate and I'll intended commentator in America is silent
Maybe she went to meet the Maker.

For these lunatics and evil commentators game is on!
Bring them to.justice Republic of Uganda.
Applause from Wainanchi.Uganda oyee Museveni oyeee.
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-6 #7 Melong 2022-10-14 12:35
This law was inevitable. I think Ugandans still have village excitement when it comes to technology.

Smart phones poured in too quickly from China, and it should have been a slow process. Having access to information platforms should not translate to being hateful and vindictive.

There has to be repercussions for spreading falsehoods. If not monitored appropriately, the internet can cause genocides. We've become worse than ever before.
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-2 #8 Mubiru 2022-10-14 17:08
What Museveni wants Museveni gets. All other institutions like parliament banks police are irrelevant

But how will the law strangle self styled experts on all matters like a one Lumbuye peddling bogus rumours on media? The man is either a witch or night naked ssleeping walker cum omusezi or a irredeemablely insane man Routinely announcing the deaths of Salim Saleh when the man decorates his relative with medals proves the point

LUMBUYE announced the detention of the late Tumwine in Germany at the very moment Tumwine ordered that all demonstrators instantly get KILIDI by security forces at Nakivubo. Will the law stop women especially Baganda or Luganda speaking concubines self styled sex experts lecturing women on how to make loud noises when in beds with men,?

U cant teach a child to suck breast and these idiots must stop because several Ugandans happily enjoy sex sex life without advices of women claiming sweetness when every woman claim the same
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0 #9 Apollo 2022-10-15 16:51
Unknown to many religious practitioners, this Computer Misuse Act as amended is a subtle tool for religious persecution against certain faiths.

It will be applied against street preachers and those who preach in various places including public transport vehicles. It is intended to curtail certain religious practices. It is crafted subtility for religious persecution.
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