The directive from Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) nicely demonstrates how “muzzle” is used in the context of humans. UCC’s directive reveals its false perception of its role and how it has assumed it to be the controller of what issues Ugandans may express our views on; and in what content and form we ought to express such views.
UCC knows it is a futile endeavour, but it tries nevertheless, and, hence, the directive is also symbolic as it is dangerous. It is symbolic of their wishful thinking that they have the power to apply a muzzle on all Ugandans in the manner that muzzles are applied to animals that bite.
The irony of it all, seemingly, UCC desires to muzzle Ugandans who are actually attempting to stop viciousness that is being meted out to us by our public servants through the implementation of a policy agenda that stifles free speech; and the very essence of our nation-state existing as a democratic society.
In which case, the third meaning of “muzzle” can also be applied to the UCC directive, in the sense that it is the mouth of a gun from which the projectile, such as a bullet, will exit. UCC is a public institution, but it is clearly not the mouth of the gun that is the people of Uganda, but rather it is the gun that seemingly serves the interests of a few Ugandans; and which Ugandans are uncomfortable with the exercise of citizenship by others.
But, by no means must we not pay attention to UCC’s latest directive. We must hid warnings and caution from those with the relevant and significant knowledge to predict the implications that come with the directive and the significant bearing they will have on our lives. Here is a example of such a prediction that we mustn’t ignore:
“If UCC miraculously finds a way to enforce this, EVERYONE ONLINE will pay for each platform but not before dropping a cool 100k to APPLY TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA. And after paying, you AGREE TO BE REGULATED. MONITORED. For your own good and that of Uganda’s beloved sheep of the Lord.
Draconian. Shudder. Potential wider state policing on a level of arrests over posts, podcasts etc., and for citizen journalists or activists without financial clout for lawyers-economic sabotage when a free platform is denied to you by your government. WEBSITES THEY DIDN’T BUILD AND ARE CURRENTLY CHARGING YOU TO JUST ACCESS ALREADY.”Louise Lindsey Kukunda on Facebook