KAMPALA – The minister of ICT and National Guidance, Ms Judith Nabakooba, has warned media houses against promoting messages that undermine government efforts in the fight against coronavirus.
According to the minister, some radio and TV stations have been hosting talkshows where particular individuals purporting to be prophets and herbalists claim to have drugs or spiritual solutions to coronavirus.
This, Ms Nabakooba said, is contrary to the presidential directives and ministry of health guidelines and that such media houses risk closure.
“I want to warn all media houses that promote messages that undermine government efforts against COVID-19 risk losing their licences,” she said on Sunday while giving the government update on measures to contact the virus.
Ms Nabakooba also warned all those peddling fake news on social media, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, that they shall be tracked down and arrested.
“As government, we shall follow up on such posts. If those people are in the country, they shall have to explain why they they misinform the public yet we have our official channels,” the minister warned.
Uganda has 52 cases of coronavirus.
The Mwanga II Magistrate’s Court last Monday charged Pastor Augustine Yiga with negligence following his utterances that there is no coronavirus in Uganda.
Pastor Yiga appeared before the court on Monday, March 30, 2020 and denied the charges.
He was then remanded to Luzira prison until April 6.
According to Section 171 of the Penal Code Act, any one person who involves themselves in a negligent act likely to spread an infectious disease commits a crime and faces a jail sentence of up to seven years.