KAMPALA – Google has told the Uganda government that they cannot just delete the online platforms linked to National Unity Platform (NUP) by a mere request.
Ms Dorothy Ooko, the head of Communication and Public Affairs for Google Africa, instead urged the government to submit a court order to back up their case.
“We always follow local law, but it would have to be a valid court order. The letters just show what the UCC submitted to the Embassy; they are not court orders,” she said on Wednesday.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), in a December 9, 2020 letter, asked the American technology company to block access to the online platforms on allegations of inciting violence. The online channels include TMO Online, Lumbuye Fred, Trending Channel Ug, Uganda Yaffe, Uganda News Updates, Ghetto TV and Busesa Media Updates. Others are Uganda Empya, Map Mediya TV, KK TV, Ekyooto TV, Namungo Media, JB Muwonge and Bobi Wine 2021.
“The broadcasts contain gruesome pictures including pictures of dead bodies, wounded victims of attacks and accidents, in a manner likely to cause public anxiety. Glorifies lawlessness and undermines public interest, confidence in the law and its enforcement in Uganda,” the letter reads.
UCC said that the listed accounts do not hold licenses and are violating the law, using YouTube.
“Wherefore, as the regulator of the communications sector in Uganda and in accordance with the Sections 5(1) (b), (j), (x), 6 and 45 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Commission hereby implores Google to block access to the following accounts,” UCC stated in the later.