The Minister of Ethics and Integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo has revealed that government has allocated a total of Shs2 billion to towards regulating the consumption of pornographic material.
Lokodo who inaugurated a 9 member pornography control committee on Monday told journalists that the Shs2 billion will be spent on fixed assets as well as operational costs in the course of their work.
“We can now fight the graft of pornography. Government has approved funds for the committee. We are going to comb the whole town and start closing those places that promote strip dancing,” Fr. Lokodo told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Monday morning.
The Pornography Control Committee derives its mandate from Section 3 of the Anti-Pornography Act 2014 which provides for the setting up of the committee with a sole purpose of overseeing and implementing the law.
The committee will collect and destroy pornographic objects and materials with the assistance of police.
Other duties included sensitization of the public about dangers of pornography, ensuring the prosecution of perpetrators, detecting and prohibiting pornography and expediting the development, acquisition and installation of effective protective software to detect pornography users in the country.
The Minister demonized the increasing consumption of pornography which he said is ‘deadly’ to the morality of Ugandans.
Lokodo said the habit which is rampant among the younger population poses serious negative implications to their economic development as well as that of the country.
“Youth spend up to Ush 30,000 on watching pornography yet this money would have fed them. This retards our development. We should be prioritizing development not leisure and pleasure,” the Minister told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre.
Lokodo further revealed that with the committee now constituted and facilitated, the process of acquisition and installation of the Pornography detecting software is going to be quickly expedited.
“I know some of you want to know what happened to the pornography detector. It is coming. The software will effectively detect and suppress the consumption of pornography and it will be planted within the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) system.”
He said the software will “distill” all pornography related content and censor its access online, citing the case of China which restricts the access of sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
“Pornography is corruption in itself. It’s an evil that people have accepted to live with due to apathy. But the fight against it isn’t a futile venture because some people have been arrested, and others arrested. This will continue,” he stated.
He condemned government officials who have also taken on the habit of consuming pornography saying this is tantamount to misuse of public resources. “Majority of civil servants spend a lot of time surfing and downloading pornography. Some have been caught and told to leave their offices,” Lokodo revealed.
Whereas some sections of the public might regard the Sh2 billion allocation to fighting pornography as a waste of already meagre public resources, Lokodo disagreed with this notion.
He responded saying; “In fact we are saving people from spending on treating health related problems which many have contracted from watching porn. Some of these problems are psychic.”
The pornography control committee which was appointed by former Information Minister Jim Muhwezi in April last year will be chaired by Kampala International University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr. Annette Kezaabu Kasimbazi.
Other members include Dr. Martin Sempa, Dalton Opwonya, Sheik Mohammad Ali Waiswa, Joan Kyomugisha, Gastone Byamugisha, Hafisa Kabagonja, Victoria Sentamu and Fred Nyakori.