The Minister for Information and ICT, Judith Nabakooba is set to meet officials from the Uganda Communications Commission over its directive to regulate social media users.
Last week, UCC directed that entities currently offering or planning to commence the provision of online data communication and broadcasting services should officially register with it by October 5, 2020.
The move has however received widespread condemnation by members of the public.
However, Nabakooba told journalists on Sunday that her ministry is set to meet with UCC officials over the same.
“We are going to meet and discuss further. If there is need to first sensitize people, UCC will then go ahead and sensitize them to have them understand why they have to be regulated,”Nabakooba said.
Several members of the public have since the directive was issued said the same is aimed at gagging and censoring several media outlets and bloggers who offer communication services via the internet, mostly social media.
The State Minister for ICT, Peter Ogwang also confirmed the meeting set for Tuesday.
“We shall have a formal engagement with UCC on Tuesday and on Wednesday we shall issue a detailed statement about the same,”Ogwang told journalists at the NRM headquarters in Kyadondo.
In a statement, UCC said the target entities are blogs, online televisions, online radios, online newspapers, audio over IP (AoIP), Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), Video on Demand (VoD), digital audio radios and televisions, internet/web radio and internet/web television.
“All persons engaged in the provision of the above services are accordingly advised to regularise their operations by obtaining the necessary authorisation from UCC by 5th of October 2020,” the statement noted.
UCC noted that regulation of communication services is intended to promote and safeguard the interest of consumers, operators, viewers and listeners.
On Thursday, lawyer Ivan Bwowe dragged UCC to court challenging the directive to have online media platforms registered.
Bwowe argued that all social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube among others have independent community guidelines and users should not seek authorisation from UCC to use these platforms adding that the directive is unconstitutional.
UCC was established under section 4 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013 (the Act) as the regulator in the development of a modern communications sector that includes telecommunications, broadcasting, radio communications, postal communications, data communication and infrastructure.
In accordance with sections 2, 5 and 27 of the Act and Regulation 5 of the Uganda Communications (Content) Regulations 2019, UCC is mandated to license, regulate and set standards for the provision of all communication services in Uganda, including radio communication and online broadcasting.