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2 BILLION FOR PORN?
Edris Matu
Posted: 6 days 17 hours

Pornography: ‘The representation through public exhibition, cinematography, indecent shows, information technology or by whatever means of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual activity or any representation of sexual parts primarily for sexual excitement‘ Defined under the Anti Pornography ACT of Uganda 2014.
It’s a mouthful definition and yes I have watched porn before and will probably not say if I still do. (This is for the purpose of not getting arrested) Nevertheless, is PORNOGRAPHY a Ugandan problem like the notorious obesity for the United States of America or crime for South Africa?
Too recently the government allocated 2 BILLION Uganda shillings (approx.560, 000USD) to facilitate the Pornography Control committee (PCC) set up to fight PORN in Uganda. Under the ministry of Ethics and Integrity, the 9 member committee will be led by Makerere University journalism and communication lecturer, Dr. ANNETTE KEZAABU with the likes of Pastor Martin Ssempa, Dalton Opeonya, Victoria Sentamu, Joan Komugisha, Gaston Byamugisha, Ali Waswa, Sheik Muhammad and Dr. Fred Nyakuri. (Do these guys even know where to find porn?)
Now, this move has left many of us Ugandans perturbed! (Like what is going on?) Is this the best and biggest problem to invest large sums of taxpayers’ money? Does Mulago have a cancer machine yet? That now we have money for some snacks on the side? Or are the roads in Bukwo all worked on? What are even the quantitative reasons to back this ministerial decision?
Well, before you drown yourself in anger and confusion, here are some the committee’s mandates.
1.The PCC has a mandate to ensure early detection and prohibition of pornography. The committee of 9 people will embark on a journey to detect the people is using porn, either on your private phone or computer. There is rumor mbu a porn detecting machine has been acquired but I am inclined to think its software not some the ‘Matrix’ out of this world machine.
Now this poses a number of impeding factors, namely the fact that in order for you to detect porn on a private phone requires the government to hack into personal phones and infringe on people’s privacy. This is against human rights 101. (I guess we don’t have choice)
2.The PPC will educate and sensitize the public about pornography. (Yes, I know you know what porn is) The committee is looking to teach us of the damage porn can do. Personally, I think curiosity is heightened by exhibition. The more you sing about a small issue the bigger you make it.
I have no authority to say porn has not caused damage or moral decay in Uganda but I am not also convinced that it is a gigantic problem that needs immediate government attention.
3.To collect and destroy any pornographic materials is another PPC mandate. With the help of Uganda Communication commission, the Uganda police and service providers – the committee will hunt, collect and destroy porn materials in Uganda. (Okay, let me laugh for a minute)
4.Skipping that, the PCC will have a mandate to rehabilitate pornography victims. People who have been affected by porn will I guess have a place to go to heal. Now this is among one of the realistic roles of the PCC but I suspect it’s the one that will be ignored.
Looking at the committee prospects, some of these sound ludicrous and honestly unnecessary for Uganda but the President signed off the act back in 2014 but Ugandans are making noise now! We are late at the party again and waking up when there is nothing to do about it.
2billion Ugandan shillings seems not too much money against the 29 trillion country budget for financial year 2017/2018 but why does Uganda seem to so much unresolved and ongoing national problems when we seem to have enough and more money to go around?
Is it bad planning or are ministries investing the country budget into personal pet projects?
Edris Matu Segawa
TV and Film Producer
NTV,Uganda
@edrismatu