Uganda: CID Waits for ICT Opinion On Mbonye's Case

13 December 2019

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) is waiting for the opinion from government agencies dealing in ICT and communications to establish whether Prophet Elvis Mbonye used a Facebook account in the name of Mugisha Elvis Mbonye to de-campaign the immunisation programme.

The CID is investigating one Mugisha Elvis Mbonye, who is said to have promoted anti-immunisation campaign against police, measles and Rubella on his social media platforms in October this year.

Prophet Mbonye, who appeared at CID headquarters, Kibuli, to answer his police bond issued in October 2019, had earlier distanced himself from the social media account which is subject of the investigations.

The spokesman of CID Charles Twine said they are still waiting for the opinion of electronic and ICT experts on whether Prophet Mbonye is the one using Mugisha Elvis Mbonye Facebook account.

"Prophet Mbonye appeared at CID headquarters to answer his police bond on Wednesday. His bond has been extended to January 8. By that time, we expect to have received the ICT experts' opinion on the matter," Assistant Superintendent of Police Twine said.

Prophet Mbonye was accompanied by Democratic Party President Norbert Mao and two lawyers.

Detectives are also collecting recorded Prophet Mbonye's sermons to understand his message on immunisation in Uganda. In an earlier statement with the police, detectives asked Prophet Mbonye whether he was aware of his followers' testimonies that his prayers cleanse unimmunised children of measles. Detectives said he responded that he prays for so many people and doesn't recall miracles each of his followers has got from God.

Campaigning against immunisation contravenes sections of the Immunisation Act of 2017 after publishing information that is misleading about the vaccines.

A person who contravenes the section on publishing misleading information on vaccines is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding forty eight currency points (equivalent of Shs960,000) or imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both.

Prophet Mbonye's lawyers Walyemera and Co. Advocates have written to the Director of CID Grace Akullo complaining about delay in the investigations against their client saying it is an abuse of his rights.

"If we don't get a positive response, in regard to this protest letter by 13 December 2019, we shall be left with no option, but to enforce our client's pre-trial and constitutional freedoms against individual police officers involved in the matter," Prophet Mbonye lawyers' statement reads in part.

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