Uganda Policies Affecting Disinformation
Uganda does not have laws which specifically cover disinformation, however:
- The Penal Code criminalizes the publication of false statements however this was declared "null and void" by the Supreme Court in 2002. Nevertheless, the Penal Code has been used to prosecute individuals during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- The 2011 Computer Misuse Act criminalizes using electronic communication to disturb the peace and quiet of individual or their privacy. The language is vague and could be broadly applied to disinformation.
- The 2013 Uganda Communications Act specifies that news broadcasts must be “free from distortion of facts”
Actions and Initiatives
President Yoweri Museveni's government has put on hold plans for a "social media" tax which would tax Facebook and WhatsApp. He has expressed interest in controlling social media. Facebook shut down fake accounts linked to the information ministry which were meant to "target public debate".
Before the 2021 election there was an 100 hour internet blackout where there no access to the internet. Social media was shut down previously ahead of the 2016 elections.