It follows a ban on Facebook imposed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in January 2021, after the social media giant deleted accounts operated by government officials on grounds of seeking to manipulate public debate prior to general polls.
activists have challenged the Government to respect citizen’s right access to
information and restore Facebook, one of the online social networking services
owned by American technology giant, Meta Platforms.
follows a ban on Facebook imposed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in
January 2021, after the social media giant deleted accounts operated by government
officials on grounds of seeking to manipulate public debate prior to general polls.
activists made the call during the commemoration of the
International Day for Universal Access to Information at the National Information Communication Technology - ICT Innovation Hub Nakawa in Kampala on Friday
organized by Twaweza, an East African NGO that operates
in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
celebration took the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -
UNESCO’s global theme: “The Importance of the Online Space for Access to Information’’ and
subtheme; “Ensuring Universal
Access in a Digital Era’’with an objective to promote free and secure online space and digital access to information.
Dr. John Baptist Imoka, a
Lecturer at Makerere University Department of Journalism and Communication implored
the government to denounce attempts to restrict access to information on online
platforms and interrupt activities of such digital platforms citing Facebook.
Dr. Imokola reasoned that
the rights of people to access or distribute information on online platforms are
being abused or stopped under the disguise of enforcing cyber security which
fundamentally violates the Access to Information
Act (No. 6 of 2005) and Article 41 of the Constitution.
//Cue in: “Online platforms are now...
Cue out: …… Facebook at the moment”. //
Speaking at the same event, Charity Komujjurizi, an official
from the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) notes that already over 33
out of 45 million Ugandans have no access to the internet, thus
limiting access to information deprives them of access to information on employment
opportunities and other development programs.
//Cue in: “It is reasonable to say...
Cue out: ……in key policy places”. //
Nalule Jjuuko, the Chairperson of the Equal
Opportunities Commission - EOC argued digital information
era is inevitable in the modern-day world and is the cornerstone of any
progressive society for true democracy, transparent governance, and genuine sustainable
//Cue in: “We have reached a point...
Cue out: ……would not be hearing”. //
A 2021 report by the International
Telecommunications Union – ITU, a specialized
agency of the United Nations responsible for many matters related to
information and communication technologies revealed that 33
percent of the World’s population of 7.888 billion people is not on the Internet.
The Minister of State for
National Guidance, Godfrey Kabbyanga who officiated the event underscored the government’s
ambitious journey to digitally transform the country. He explained that the roadmap
to digital transformation is not just a vision on paper, but a working strategy
being brought to life each day.
The Minister cited key
initiatives under this roadmap including Digital Literacy Programs which focus on youth and elders; Digital Infrastructure expansion to ensure internet
accessibility to the most remote areas and government e-services aimed at
achieving transparency and accountability.
Kabbyanga lauded the Africa
Freedom of Information Centre – AFIC and Twaweza East Africa for their instrumental
role in Uganda’s digital transformation by creating awareness on ATI, building
portals such as the Ask Your Government portal, and building the capacity of
more than 400 public officials, more than 600 citizens champions, and community
“There are on-ground insights,
feedback, and tireless efforts that have shaped many policies and projects
including the current process to review and amend the ATI Act 2005, and the
digital transformation road map among others,” said Kabbyanga.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.