This African Country will send you to jail for sexting

Where sexting is a far worse crime than corruption & dictatorship.

To succinctly summarise it all, a Ugandan clearly expressed in a tweet: “Uganda now has a mini-skirt ban, homosexuality ban, porn ban & a sexting ban”. Though this legislation is undeniably a handicap to the human freedom entitled to all citizens or inhabitants of the country, there’s curiosity at how possible it will be to control and regulate the said bans –the mini-skirt of course is the easiest to track– but lets take a look at the timeline to see how the actions of the past few days got them here.

10 days ago, the Ugandan government –actually– Father Lokodo (Simon Lokodo), Minister of Ethics and Integrity (see above in the image), set up a national committee, called the “Pornography Control Committee”. Members of the team are Ugandans “of high moral character and proven integrity”, who will try to control the circulation of pornography in the country by ensuring “the perpetrators of pornography are apprehended and prosecuted”.

The statement, as you would expect, further gave reasons for the ban, blaming pornography for “escalating cases” of drug abuse, incest, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality and statutory rape.

But all these bans have long started before now. In 2014, there was already an Anti-Pornography act issued by the government. Hence this new team is typically required to identify, seize and destroy any pornographic material. They are also mandated to promote rehabilitation of individuals affected by pornography. An $88,000 machine has been procured by the government to detect all watchers of porn through internet traffic, while they set to spend 2 billion of their local currency, each year to fund these activities of the committee.

It’s not hard to see how wildly unreasonable that amount of money to be spent is, considering Uganda, like many African country wrestles with widespread illiteracy and poverty. Though the nation’s economy is said to have improved in the past five years considerably, Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel force that opposes every Ugandan government are still causing casualties and displacing millions of people along the country’s northern borders. Amidst the executions of the bans, Ugandans are utilising social media- Twitter in particular- to air their views and opinions. Some with humour, and others critiquing the government. See insights from social media reactions below for yourself.

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Fisayo is a journalist who thinks writing is hard and reading too. But her journey somewhere reveals, words are like pawns on chessboard when writing. She wants to see, create and share with the world, experience & communicate these experiences. Tweet at her @fisvyo