Security agencies have warned that Ugandans in the diaspora who utter statements that disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person especially leaders, will be dealt with when they return home.
The warning follows the arrest of the son of former chancellor of Makerere University, who the police accuse of offensive communication during a demonstration by Ugandan diaspora in United States, pushing for the release from military custody of then detained Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi.
Mr Kato Kajubi, the son of late Prof William Ssenteza Kajubi, was arrested at Entebbe International Airport last week and remained in detention until Monday when he was given police bond.
Mr Vicent Ssekatte, the spokesman of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, said detectives are still analysing the suspected offensive communication by Mr Kajubi.
“He has been given bond and has deposited his passport with the police and it will be given back to him when investigations are complete,” Mr Ssekatte said yesterday.
This means Mr Kajubi cannot travel abroad any time soon to fend for his family, with police sometimes taking months before completing investigations.
Using social media
Ugandans, especially in diaspora, have been active on social media, with some very critical of President Museveni’s leadership and have been communicating directly to the local population using the platform to express their views.
The police has now swung into action using Computer Misuse Act to target them as they return for holidays in the last quarter of the year.
Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act says: “Any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues commits a misdemeanor and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 24 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.”
Mr Steven Ssenkeezi, a lawyer, said the police may use a claim that statements done abroad extended to the jurisdiction of Uganda.
“When a person does something out of the country but extends to the jurisdiction of Uganda, the police might arrest you here.
They used it during the treason case of Dr Aggrey Kiyingi where they claimed he sponsored Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Kenya,” Mr Ssenkeezi said yesterday when Saturday Monitor sought his opinion on the matter.
Summoned. In June, police summoned Raymond Soulfa, alias Peng Peng, and Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze, who are alleged to have committed offensive communication when they made statements about the death of Ibrahim Abiriga, the slain former Arua Municipality MP. Peng Peng, who stays in Sweden, has not reported to the police.
Pending. Detectives say his file is still pending and he will be arrested and his statement recorded once he sets foot in Uganda.