NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
UGANDA Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA), a Parliamentary journalists’ body has congratulated the newly elected Speaker of Parliament of Uganda Rt. Hon. Annet Anita Among and her deputy Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, saluting the two for their promise to transform Parliament into a people centred institution.
Ruling NRM’s Anita Among defeated opposition candidate Asuman Basalirwa during yesterday’s Speaker of Parliament election at Kololo ceremenial ground, taking over from fallen Speaker Rt. Hon. Jacob L’okori Oulanyah. Thomas Tayebwa who has been serving was also elected Deputy.
UPPA has however asked the two elected leaders of Uganda Parliament to block unpopular bills like the one of computer misuse amendment bill.
Kampala Central MP Hon. Muhammad Nsereko was granted leave by the Parliament of Uganda to push for the amendment of the computer misuse act of 2011.
According to Nsereko, social media especially has for a long time now been used as an avenue by bloggers and other individuals to insult, abuse, threaten and blackmail people.
Nsereko says he is one of the victims after the National Unity Platform propagandist Fred Lumbuye declared that he should be killed along with other politicians like Mukono MP Hon Nambooze Bakireke Betty, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, and many others if Uganda is to be free and have peace in the future.
Nsereko said this was a direct attack on him as an individual but currently the law has weaknesses that don’t clear stipulate how one can be charged and jailed for such poisonous words.
“I will embark on sharing the draft and wide consultations to capture the views of the people of Uganda and other countries. The law shall guard the freedom of speech but also protect the rights of others in society.” Nsereko said.
In Sections 24 and 25, the Act criminalizes cyber harassment and offensive communication.
Cyber harassment, is defined as “the use of a computer” to make an “obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent” overture (“request, suggestion or proposal”); threaten “to inflict injury or physical harm” to a person or that person’s property; or “knowingly permit any electronic communications device to be used for any of [these] purposes” is punishable by “a fine not exceeding seventy-two currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.”
Offensive communication, defined as the “willful and repeated use of electronic communication to disturb or attempt to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues” is punishable by “a fine not exceeding twenty-four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.”
In a statement signed by Journalists’ president Moses Mulondo, UPPA is hopeful that unpopular Bills like Computer Misuse Amendment Bill which seeks to curtail freedom of expression including press freedom will not get greenlight under Speaker Anita and Deputy Speaker Tayebwa’s leadership.
Statement says, as professionals who have closely worked with both Rt. Hon. Anita and Rt. Hon. Tayebwa and understand very well their abilities and aspirations, Parliamentary journslists are very optimistic that leadership of the newly elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker will greatly improve the performance of Parliament as an institution and greatly contribute to the social-economic transformation of the country.
Mr. Moses Mulondo said, “We are happy that you have promised to implement the commitments the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah made to the country which among others include promoting evidence based debates, making parliament people centred and organizing special sittings of Parliament to debate the Parliament Ugandas want to see at the end of the current term of office. That will be the greatest tribute the country will have paid to the late Jacob Oulanyah.”
UPPA assured Speaker and her Deputy that, as eyes and ears of the public regarding what transpires in Parliament, “We will support you especially in terms of informing the public on the progress you will be making in fulfilling your commitments to the country. May God give you the necessary grace and wisdom and guide you to lead the institution of Parliament for the common good of all Ugandans.”
News Editor Media wishes to congratulates Rt. Hon. Anita Among and Rt. Thomas Tayebwa upon their victory.
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