Uganda’s Claims of Press Freedom are Nothing but a Hoax

A wave of draconian laws by Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s president since 1986, criminalising journalism has dealt further several blows to the right to information. It is no wonder that Museveni is on the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) list of press freedom predators. A free press empowers citizens, gives a voice to poor populations, and holds governments accountable for corruption. If Uganda wants to improve its rankings in democratised nations, it must begin to enable press freedom.

Article 29 of the Ugandan 1995 constitution guarantees press freedom for media practitioners, civil society organisations (CSOs), and all political groupings. However, the recently signed Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act is anything but free. The bill criminalises the online publication of unsolicited hateful, false or malicious information.

It also prohibits the sharing of information likely to degrade or ridicule a person or group of persons. The tricky part is that the law does not define false and malicious information, making it very imprecise. Journalists convicted under the law would be banned from holding public office for 10 years. They could also be fined up to UGX 15m and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison…..

To read more, check full article on The Africa Report.