By Kampala Post Reporter
KAMPALA. President Yoweri Museveni has directed Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and security agencies to investigate the source of fake news attributed to government officials that have previously been widely circulated on social media platforms.
Addressing media executives recently at State House Entebbe, Museveni warned that publishers and those found circulating fake/false news would be held to account.
Specifically pointing out anonymous social media critic by the names of Tom Voltaire Okwalinga /TVO Facebook page, Museveni cautioned, “We will catch him. Now that we are about get the equipment, we will find him.”
This website now understands the President has ordered authorities to hold to account platforms used to carry fake messages such as individual Facebook accounts and news websites.
This also follows complaints by Privatization Minister Evelyne Anite to Museveni that a media house claimed that she had been shot dead in Kampala.
In recent weeks, there has been a rise in fake news on the internet including a fake document purporting to carry a presidential directive on the disbandment of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) board.
The President’s spokesperson Don Wanyama later described the letter as “fake,” adding those behind it faced “sanctions.”
The fake letter claimed Museveni had constituted an “interim board of directors of Uganda Investment Authority headed by Patrick Bitature” - which was untrue.
There was another fake letter purportedly authored by the President’s PPS Molly Kamukama disregarding an earlier press statement by the presidency on amending the list of newly appointed RDCs.
Additionally, a fake ‘dossier’ claiming that UCC Executive Director Eng Godfrey Mutabazi participated in the procurement of a machine that monitors telephone traffic has since been circulated on social media.
NBS boss Kin Kariisa whose platforms have fallen prey to fake news, said despite efforts to arrest the creation of fake accounts, tech savy individuals and companies are creating apps and software that create fake accounts identical to the authentic account and include the verification badge (showing an account is verified).
“These apps can be freely accessed on all smartphones app stores, something phone manufactures and innovation teams of operating systems have ignored. Such apps include Fake Tweets and FB post maker. These apps have an interface similar to Twitter and Facebook and allow one to create existing identities on social media or a fake username,” said Kariisa in his recent letter.