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‘No Right-Thinking Ugandan Should Support MP Muhammad Nsereko’s ‘Social Media’ Bill; It Only Serves Museveni’s Interests’

Muhammad Nsereko

Muhammad Nsereko’s Democratically Abortive Bill | By Prof Oweyegha Afunaduula

Oweyegha Afunaduula
Prof Oweyegha Afunaduula

The Global Village and Muhammad Nsereko’s Bill intended to punish bad users of internet, especially those on social media, are unenviable bedfellows.

I abhor the use of social media to abuse and disparage others, particularly leaders. If you abuse and disparage leaders you undermine respect from top to bottom and everything that is engendered by respect.

I love those who use social media to educate others or change the situation of people from bad to good. Anything that interferes with education via alternative ways of educating humanity, such as internet, is anti-civilization, anti-humanity and anti-Christ.

Nsereko’s Bill, the Computer Misuse (Amendment), did not emerge out of careful critical thought of the need and usefulness of the Bill, but out of bitterness when he was abused and disparaged young users of social media who were not happy with his undercover methods of destroying Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi’s politics by, reportedly seeking to use President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s money to buy the politician out of politics in favour of the President and his political domination of Uganda.

However, it is not easy to see the usefulness of the Bill in a globalized village in which the misusers of social media are not located in Uganda but in other countries, are very bitter having been forced out of Uganda by intolerable socio-political and socioeconomic conditions, have lost physical contact with their country, are no longer under the laws of Uganda, and have no hope of coming back.

The best Nsereko’s  Bill if passed into law can achieve is to further create fear and silence in Uganda, which would serve the interests of the NRM regime of reigning as if it is hovering over robots.

Social misuse by young people, the same way Parliament is being misused by politicians, has emerged as the last island of an open society where people can push the Democratic agenda where government has failed the democratization imperative.

So, ultimately, the Nsereko Bill, although exciting to some people, does not add value to our struggle to defeat fear and silence in order to build a vibrant, open and democratic society in a globalised World.

In this sense, no right thinking person can support it in the 21st Century dominated by information and communication via the Worldwide Web.

Uganda is now challenged by many issues that should be attracting the attention of the Members of Parliament, who are cast as representatives of the people, but tend to serve the President of Uganda and their selfish interests more.

Today, Uganda is faced with the real danger of high rocketing fuel prices, which will ultimately affect all spheres of life. MPs are silent on this critical issue and are more attracted to non-issues, which they seem to make national issues.

Such deviations are hurting the country and its people. Instead they have sacrificed everything to the President of Uganda. If he does not speak on anything then they remain completely silent and begin speaking about it after the President has spoken.

They cannot effectively question anything, which they collectively feel will not amuse the President.

It is as if Parliament is an extension of the President yet it is one of the three arms of Government equal and opposite. Parliament has undermined itself. The President may or may it listen to what comes out of it. He may even choose to ignore it or regard what goes on in Parliament as ‘simply noise.’

By stressing non-issues such as suppressing the thoughts of social media users, however defective, Parliament will end up being anti-democracy, pro-authoritarianism and pro-absolutism. Maybe by sacrificing all thought and action to the President, Parliament has already be one an agent of authoritarianism and absolutism of power and authority.

In my view, Nsereko’s is a democratic deviation, a step away from building a united, open society of Uganda in the more open globalised society on Earth. It is reverse thinking, unfortunately. For God and My Country.

Oweyegha Afunaduula is a retired lecturer

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MORE: On July 19, MP Nsereko tabled his proposed amendment bill which prescribes tough punishments for social media users convicted of certain offences. The punishments include a Shs15m fine, a seven-year jail term or both. (Read Story Here).

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