Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko has promised to introduce a private members bill that would clamp down on cyberbullies.
Nsereko said if left unchecked, cyberbullying will contribute to lawlessness where people take matters into their own hands and retaliate against their attackers, which he said would be unfortunate.
The move follows concerns raised by Disaster Minister, Hilary Onek over media reports claiming he had been taken ill abroad.
“Yesterday when I was going to Cabinet, I was reading through the papers then I found out that I was one of those critically flown out…that was by Daily Pepper; when I read it I wondered what was happening,” Onek said adding that, “I can only forgive them but I would wish they retract the statement because I even added on weight now how can I be critically ill in this form?”
Onek updated the House that he had taken a two months leave from the busy work schedule.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) defines cyberbullying as bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behavior, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among, who chaired the plenary sitting, supported the move to have a law in place to address cyberbullying. She raised concerns about the witch hunt of legislators, false publications, attacks on MPs among others.
“I read a ruling yesterday by Justice Ssekana in which he says that “I will not tolerate anybody bullying Judges on social media.” I think that this ruling should also apply to legislators. They should leave us to do our work. This business of witch-hunting people writing all the nonsense that you can’t even substantiate; we need to make a law regarding that,” said Among.
Government Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa, emphasized the need to have legislation in place to resolve the issue of the cyberbullying. He assured Nsereko that Government will support his bill.