Members of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee have tasked the Uganda Joint Christian Council–UJCC to explain the relevance of the Anti-pornography Bill 2011.
While presenting their submissions about the bill before the committee, UJCC said the pornography trend if not checked will cause spiritually harmful effects to the society.
The members, however, said that the group led by Rev Father Sylvester Arinaitwe has not convinced the committee which is currently scrutinising the bill on why the country needs a law like this one.
West Budama North MP Fox Odoi said the bill encompasses what is already provided for in the bible and other laws against acts like rape and defilement adding that it is the job of the religious leaders to preach against immorality and not a law.
National youth MP Monica Amoding also said morality is a personal choice that cannot be enforced by any law and said that summons and sensitisation could work more effectively.
But Father Arinaitwe told the committee that since people are not compelled to read the bible or go to church, a law should be in place.
UJCC suggested some changes in the bill like its title which they say should change from anti-pornography bill to pornography prevention and control bill. The council also suggested that the number of religious leaders in the bill be increased from two to at least 10. This they say is to enhance the role of religious leaders in fighting pornography.
Another group which also presented its justification for the bill, the Uganda Centre for Law and Transformation, suggested that the bill should propose for a harsher penalty for people involved in pornography. The centre’s board chairman Charles Tuhaise said the penalties proposed in the bill are too lenient to eliminate the vice.
While the bill proposes a fine of 10 million shillings or 10 years in jail as maximum penalty, Tuhaise proposes a fine of 150 million shillings for the offence.