Ugandan Communications Commission threaten to Arrest Citizens for using Social Media

Yesterday Ugandans went to the polls to vote in a general election for President.  In a robust campaign, where many sought change from the 30 year dictatorial reign of Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan media outlet WBS TV published a message alleging that the Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC) is threatening to arrest those people for treason, who defy the social media ban. The WBS TV Facebook Page  message read:

“COMMUNICATION FROM UCC: We disconnected all social media on Thursday at 6am and we have information from Telecom companies that some people are using different security apps to access their social networks again. We are going to track all those who are using them, and they are going to be arrested for treason!”

According to one Ugandan commentator:
“By Law, UCC is not allowed to violate our rights to communication, and like (it) or not the EC and UCC bosses are going to answer cases in the ICC. This is a criminal case bigger than that of Kony. How can they do such a stupid thing?!!! Do they know what we have lost?!! Our businesses have frozen and we have registered huge losses just because of your messes. Let me remind them, no one is above the Law.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.11.42 AMIt seems clear that UCC, a body Corporate established under Section 4 of the Uganda Communications Commission Act, No. 1 of 2013 to regulate the telecommunications, radio, television and postal and courier services industry in Uganda, is  being used by the current Ugandan dictator, Museveni, in a campaign to thwart his opposition, by trying to ensure that the many glaring anti-democratic, anti-constitutional behaviors and election violations do not get public and worldwide attention.

These electoral violations are reported to include –  voter suppression, press censorship,  oppression of free speech, assaults, killings, police intimidation, disappearances, torture, arrests of opposition candidates, wind blowing away ballot boxes, ballots delivered to polling stations four hours late, booze and gifts to entice votes, and  pre-checked (ticked) with Museveni’s name.

According to its website the mandate of the UCC is to:  “The UCC was established to implement the provisions of The UCC Act 2013 Laws of Uganda with a principal goal of developing a modern communications sub-sector and Infrastructure in Uganda, in conformity with the operationalization of the Telecommunications Policy.”
Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.40.24 AMThe UCC threatening people with arrests for treason, simply because they want to access their social media, for whatever reason, exacerbates all these charges.  It also in and of itself operates as a form of intimidation.  If this communication, as put out by WBS TV Uganda, is in fact true,  it is the highest form of proof that in fact Yoweri Museveni, or his lackies, or employees or board members of UCC, or all of the above,  have gone to unconstitutional and even criminal lengths to ensure  the duration of Museveni’s reign as dictator of Uganda.  The question then is who is truly committing the treason?

It is my belief that the U.S. State department must investigate these allegations and that it in its findings must determine whether or not it is still willing to provide the Ugandan President with its ongoing support.  We can no longer prop this regime up under the pretense that they are a democracy. We cannot be silent and we cannot be supportive. This is just too hypocritical, and even if it serves OUR needs in the region – we are failing the people who continue to suffer the consequences.

If the WBS TV allegations are not true – then WBST TV Uganda has a LOT of explaining to do!

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 9.42.17 AM
We have not reached out to anyone, other than the UCC, on twitter, at this time to see if these allegations are true: however the source being WBS TV is respected and solid.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.46.22 AM

m7 election

SEE Ugandan Police Arrest Museveni’s opposition: Kizza Besigye ( who has been arrested several times during the course of his campaign)  and Mugisha Muntu arrested after police storms FDC tally center  HERE

READ MORE : Dr. Besigye calls election sham and fraud:  HERE

Here are the Board Members of the UCC. 

Eng. Dr. Vincent B. A. Kasangaki, Chairperson

The Chairperson of the Board, Eng. Dr. Vincent B. A. Kasangaki is a professional registered Engineer (in Uganda) with over 30 years’ experience in the field of Electrical Engineering, specialising in electric power systems, energy management and planning, control systems, digital communication systems, and IT systems/networks. He has been the lead Electrical Consulting Engineer for several projects. He is a Past President of the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers; and a former member of the Engineers Registration Board. Dr Kasangaki taught at Makerere University from 1976 to 2003; and at the time he left the University he was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. He served as Member of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) for 10 years (2000-2010); and is a former Principal of Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT). Currently, he is the Chairman, Board of Directors of IMK Engineering Company Limited and Senior Consultant in the same firm. He is a member of Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE).

Dr. Nora MuliraDr. Nora Mulira holds a PhD in Service systems development, from Delft University of Technology (TUDelft) The Netherlands, an Msc. Management Information Systems (MIS) and a post-graduate diploma in Information Systems from the London School of Economics (LSE), University of London, U.K. Dr Mulira also holds post-graduate qualifications in ICT Enterprise management, and Senior Executive Education (public/private Collaborative solutions) from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, U.S.A. and judge Institute of Management Studies, School of Engineering and Technology, University of Cambridge, U.K. She is an alumnus of Gayaza High School.Dr. Mulira has consulted and worked in various ICT capacities in public/private development projects and academia. She is the Director Research and Development, National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), and Senior Consultant, Knowledge Consulting Limited (KCL), Uganda

Jane Frances Anyango KabbaleMs Jane Frances Anyango Kabbale holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and Masters in Business Administration executive and senior level experience with skills to integrate strategic and policy making skills, ICT, corporate governance, effective communication, administrative, risk management, business development services, capacity building supervision, project and fund management, Project design consulting services. She represents the Uganda Association of Bankers at the board.

Mr. William ByaruhangaMr William Byaruhanga holds a Bachelor of Law and Diploma in Legal Practice. He is a member of Uganda Law Society, East African Law Society and International Bar Association. He is the Principle Partner of Kasirye, Byaruhanga co. Advocates. His areas of expertise include Capital Markets, corporate acquisitions, private equity, real estate development and commercial contracts.

Eng. Charles Lwanga AukAn ex-offico member, Eng. Charles Lwanga Auk holds a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications Engineering. He has an experience of over ten years in the ICT sector both in public and private sector. Currently he is the Assistant Commissioner for Telecommunications and Posts in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

Mr. Godfrey MutabaziMr Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director of UCC, is an aeronautical engineer. He holds a Master of Science Degree in ICT (software engineering) with a bias in Spectrum Planning. He also holds a certificate in Broadcasting Regulation from the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, and several professional qualifications in aviation engineering disciplines, including Avionics. He is the former chairman of Broadcasting Council, and is well versed with the communications sector with an experience of over twenty years as an engineer.

Dr. Wardah Mummy Rajab-GyagendaDr Wardah Mummy Rajab-Gyagenda holds a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree (PhD) in International Affairs and Development among other qualifications. Currently, she is the Director of Research, Publications and Innovations at Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU). Dr Rajab-Gyagenda brings a wealth of experience from the academia, civil society and governance areas. Though an academic, she is the voice of consumers at the board.


Ms. Evelyn Gloria PiloyaMs Evelyn Piloya holds a Bachelors Degree in Development Studies. Currently, she is Programme Officer, Grassroots’ Women Association for Development based in Gulu. Previously, she worked with the Aids Support Organisation and as Programme Officer in Community Action for Women in Africa. She has skills and experience in counselling as well as training of trainers. On the board, Ms Piloya represents the interests of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), gender and the civil society, among others.


5 thoughts on “Ugandan Communications Commission threaten to Arrest Citizens for using Social Media

  1. When are you people connecting us back to our media networks? I havepersonally lost communication with my friends across different partsof the world.

      1. democratic means “people’s rule” and one day will be recognized as etymology of communism. democracies only exist until the people discover they can vote to receive public treasury handouts, at which point they always vote for the politician promising the most largess, always collapsing to fiscal irresponsibility.

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