Former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Winnie Kizza and 13 others have run to the Constitutional Court in a bid to throw out the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill which was recently passed into law.
President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act, 2022, which criminalizes unauthorized access to data and prohibits the sharing of data relating to children without authorization from parents or guardians.
The law also prohibits sending or sharing false, malicious and unsolicited information. Punishment for the convicted person is Shs15 million or a seven-year jail term, if not both.
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According to the law, recording of a person’s voice or video without permission, or unauthorised access to their personal information, and seeks to render a person convicted under the proposed law ineligible for public or elective office for a decade and imposes a fine of Shs15 million or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or both.
The Computer Misuse Amendment Bill 2022 was introduced to Parliament by Kampala Central MP Muhammed Nsereko and passed on July 19, 2022.
But petitioners including Chapter Four Uganda, African Centre for Media Excellence-ACME and Unwanted Witness Uganda, represented by there lawyers George Musisi, Galandi Simon and Kizza Micheal say that Parliament didn’t follow the procedures of law when passing the bill and that it was passed in bad faith to hinder journalists from covering sensitive information. They add that the law also infringes on Rights of not only journalists but every Uganda.
The Petitioners now want the Constitutional Court to cross it out and declare that it’s not the right law.
They say that they will apply for a Court injunction against the implementation of the recently gazetted Law.
Opponents of the law argue that it will be abused by enforcers to silence legitimate criticism.
Compiled by Rashidah Nakaayi