Local comedian Tobby Innocent Kafeero backed a measure to stop online abuse on March 12, 2022, by posting on social media. However, reports claim that the law he backed has paid off for him. As dissident voices criticized the bill, claiming that it would stifle free expression, Kafeero alias Dr T Amale clarified that it would prevent abuse and blackmail on the internet.
Dr T Amale was arrested and detained by Kira Road Police earlier today for allegedly defaming city Pastor, Evangelist Morris Katende, making him the first victim of the law he championed. Dr T Amale has frequently taken to his social media channels to denounce defamation and extortion, claiming that those responsible are supporters of the opposing National Unity Platform political party (NUP).
The statute makes it illegal to write, send, or share any information via a computer, including cellphones, if it mocks, demeans, or disparages another person, group of people, tribe, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Additionally, it criminalizes the same action if the communicated information sows discord among people, tribes, ethnic groups, religions, or genders; or if it incites hatred toward an individual, group of individuals, tribe, ethnicity, religion, or gender.
Those who send hate speech, offensive messages, unsolicited information, and information about minors without their parents’ or guardians’ permission may face penalties if proved guilty. The guilty person faces a sh15 million fine or a seven-year prison sentence, but not both.