African leaders have always struggled to control New technologies their countries do not create or make, as an extension of the life and death hold they have on their citizens.
And in a continuation of this conundrum, Uganda’s President early this week threatened to Ban the phone messaging app whatsapp messenger over a what he described as ” a sectarian” audio recording being shared on its platforms. The audio recording which ridicules the President’s Bahima sub-community from western Uganda, was brought to the attention of the President by his wife Janet Museveni.
In his message, the President warned Ugandan youth against misusing these new technologies and also ordered police to probe the origins of these recordings. Uganda as a country does not have specific laws dealing with social media and these new digital media technologies but uses sections of its penal code act to punish people who commit crimes on digital media. The Ugandan president described those sharing the audio recordings as ”enemies of unity”.
The Audio describing the Ugandan president’s Kinsmen as primitive is the latest in ongoing struggle to keep up with technological advances that African governments have had to deal with, especially technological advances whose pace they can’t monitor or control. This has extended to attempts to scuffle opposition mobilisation by banning Facebook and twitter and while these can be blocked through the internet service providers, whatsapp messenger is abit tricky because its only held on smartphones, the user has access to make internet service sources.
In china and Russia however these american internet companies have been forced to relocate the severs holding these two country’s citizen’s data into their respective countries making it easy for the government to monitor them.