Museveni -China intensified dictatorial control of social media and internet users in Uganda.
There is ongoing plan between dictator Museveni and Chinese government to monitor social media and internet users in Uganda.A proposal which if implemented as planned will impose a restriction to freedom of speech and expression .
Evidence suggest that the government of Dictator Museveni is in advance stage of endorsing an agreement with China to enable his government to take total control of internet in Uganda.
China have agreed to offer Museveni government a comprehensive cyber security solution, including technical capacity to monitor and prevent social media abuse .China have also agreed to build the capacity of Uganda Communications Commission ,police and Ministry of Internal Affairs to guard against cyber criminals .
The state minister for privatisation and investment Evelyne Anite and the state minister for Trade and Industry Michael Werikhe were both present in China.
Anite said that Museveni’s regime will not bury heads in sands as if there is nothing happening. “criminals are using social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to commit crimes with impunity “Anite said. She cited that cyber crimes such as terrorism, online fraud, human trafficking and pornography are becoming very rampant ,more dangerous and more sophisticated yet as a country ,Uganda is vulnerable.
Additionally, China have pledged to provide security for Oil refinery project as well as the installations.Citing out that China have invested over $1.2billion in Africa’s defense systems ,public security, communications systems and national defense systems , Mr Rui said that China is expert in internet security and he promised his company (The Business Department of Africa ) will share Chinese success technology with Uganda to strengthen the regime of Dictator Museveni .
Human Rights and cyber activists have appealed to the Chinese government to reconsider it’s support to government of Uganda geards towards reinforcing open surveillance on internet users in Uganda without any safeguards. The unwanted Witness Uganda cited that unregulated surveillance violates citizens rights to freedom of expression and privacy as well as international privacy standards. According to Unwanted Witness, despite the government’s intensified efforts to spy on citizens,Uganda still lack a legal framework to protect the right to privacy and operationalise the ratification as well as article 27 of the 1995 constitutions of the Republic of Uganda.
Cyber activists are highly concerned about Chinese involvement in violation of citizen’s right to privacy and internet freedom at a time when government agencies are increasingly cracking down on internet users with opposing views .
Dorothy Mukasa ,the acting chief Executive officer of Unwanted Witness cautioned China National Electronic Imports and Exports Corporation -CEIEC to be very concious of it’s international mandate of protecting,promoting and respecting human rights while conducting business before implementing this agreement.
The Uganda-China social media monitoring agreement comes at a time when Ugandans are actively participating in the debate via social media platforms on whether to ammend Article 102 (b) of the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda to lift presidential age limit.