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Lokodo kicks Ssempa out of porn committee

Ssempa's altercation with Bobi Wine's supporters, especially the People Power subscribers, has recently left him facing a barrage of invective.

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KAMPALA | Ethics and Integrity minister Simon Lokodo has kicked Martin Ssempa out of Pornography Control Committee over the pastor’s petulance and under-performance.

The suspension leaves the controversial pastor — who has recently found a new hobby in lecturing musician cum politician Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, on what to and not to sing about — with more drivel down his cheek than he would have bargained for.

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Ssempa’s altercation with Bobi Wine’s supporters, especially the People Power subscribers, has recently left him facing a barrage of invective.

In a December 18, 2018 letter, Fr Lokodo said Pastor Ssempa had little or no working relation with the committee members.

Ssempa, who was a no-show during the committee’s inauguration in August 2017, has previously been served with a memo but Lokodo indicated in the suspension letter that even the warning letter was ignored — the Makerere Community Church founder and senior pastor did not reply as asked to within 14 days.

“You may wish to recall that my letter to you requested you to reply within fourteen days on the allegations made in the two separate letters so that I may make my administrative decision on the way forward,” the letter says in part.

“You did not reply but chose to escalate it (the situation) to your lawyers to handle it for you.”

The Pornography Control Committee is covered under the Anti-Pornography Bill which was controversially passed by parliament in 2014.

The nine-member committee, with annual budget of Shs2 billion, was instituted to check the rise in production, distribution and consummation of pornographic material on digital media.

Minister Lokodo claims access to pornographic material has contributed to an increase in cases of drug abuse, incest, teenage pregnancies, rape and homosexuality in Uganda.

The committee also aims to raise public awareness about the dangers of pornography, as well as collecting and destroying pornographic materials and ensuring that perpetrators are apprehended.

Meanwhile, Fr Lokodo told Uganda Radio Network that Ssempa’s suspension was as a result of under-performance.

“The committee denounced him for not performing in unison with them. We asked him to defend himself but he decided to go to court. We are now waiting for the court to decide,” Lokodo said.

However, it still remains unclear how Pastor Ssempa has under-performed on the committee on which he represents religious organisations.

Could Ssempa have “reviewed fewer pornographic content” than the Dr Annette Kezaabu-chaired committee is willing to stomach? The pastor has refused to comment presently, instead saying he would be responding to the issue at a later date.

Lokodo said Ssempa’s case has been referred to the “Attorney General’s chamber for necessary advice on the next course of action.”

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