I usually don’t like folks that go, ‘only in Uganda’. But where else can a whole Minister and his ‘sex committee’ play out their juvenile fantasies on the public’s expense? Time and again the ‘Hon’ Simon Lokodo, Minister of State for Ethics & Integrity in the Office of the President, has talked about importing a special machine that will be able to detect pornography in any form, and anywhere.
But does a machine of that description even exist? Last year in August Lokodo declared to the media that a porn machine had been ordered from South Korea and would arrive within two months.
Bloggers and pundits outdid themselves in trying to guess what form the ‘porn machine’ would take; would it be like a satellite, hovering over Uganda with extremely powerful signals that would detect any amount of sexual excitement (the recently inaugurated Porn Committee declared that anything that causes sexual excitement is pornographic)?
Would it be mounted on trucks escorted by heavily armed policemen that would drive around seeking for people that are sexually excited? If even the American FBI could not hack into a phone used by a terrorist, how would Lokodo’s supposedly Korean-made porn machine hack into Ugandans’ phone to see if they were watching pornography?
A year later he was invited to appear on Urban TV and demonstrate that famous machine, but he huffed and puffed, declared he was disrespected, and refused to show up. But the former Catholic priest is now talking about software that would detect pornography in any form.
Last month the Pornography Control Committee, led by respected academic Dr Annette Kezaabu Kasimbazi, was sworn in. And Lokodo proudly declared that it will spend more than sh2bn in its efforts to stop pornography. Dr Kasimbazi was quoted as saying even phone texts between individuals that caused sexual excitement would be considered pornographic.
In a clear example of sexual excitement gone out of control, the good doctor was quoted as saying that well-built rugby players will have to cover up their chests when training, otherwise they might cause sexual excitement among watching females, thus be guilty in dealing in pornography, and could go to prison for ten years.
Dr Annette Kezaabu Kasimbazi
Amidst all of this, folks conveniently forget that the Anti-Pornography Act was passed without a quorum in Parliament, the same afternoon that the Anti-homosexuality Act was passed. The latter was challenged and court declared it unconstitutional on that basis, so chances are that the first person ever charged with breaking the Anti-porn act will challenge its legality. And chances are high that it will be also be declared unconstitutional.
So why is Lokodo and his sex committee wasting our time and our resources? Can somebody call his bluff and challenge all this before a court of law? We really have better things to do with all the time and effort, and definitely that money can be used elsewhere, rather than let a former priest purse his obsession with things of the flesh.