Uganda launches anti-porn committee

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Uganda has named a nine-member anti-pornography team to prevent use or distribution of pornographic material in the country.

Uganda's Ethics minister Simon Lokodo. The minister has been on a public campaign against pornography.
Uganda’s Ethics minister Simon Lokodo. The minister has been on a public campaign against pornography. Photo: internet

Ethics minister Simon Lokodo said the government would spend Ush2 billion ($556,000) 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.

He 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 a stakeholders’ strategic working group, drawing members from other government ministries, agencies and law enforcers, will be set up to conduct on-the-spot checks for pornographic material.
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 team

The committee will be chaired by Dr Annette Kezaabu Kasimbazi, a journalism and communications lecturer at the Makerere University.

Others include Dr Fred Nyankore, a health professional, Victoria Ssentamu (publisher), Gastone Byamugisha (education), Hasifa Kabaganja (culture), and Charles Dalton Opwonya from the Uganda Law Society.

Religious institutions are represented by Sheikh Ali Mohammed Wasswa and pastor Martin Ssempa.

Uganda Communications Commission is yet to name its representative after its nominee, Joan Kyomugisha, resigned from her job days before the committee’s inauguration.

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.

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