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Museveni: We Will get Tom Voltaire Okwalinga

For the first time, President Museveni has publicly expressed hope of identifying the holder of the Facebook account, Tom Voltaire Okwalinga alias TVO.

“We will get this man Okwalinga,” said Museveni on Friday while meeting media executives at State House Entebbe.

“Now that we have the machines, we will get him.”

The meeting was held under the theme, “The role of the media in Nation Building: Aligning the media with government’s agenda 2040.”

Museveni used the platform to caution against misuse of social media to spread what he described as “hate campaigns”.

Okwalinga had made a name as a prominent leaker of what he/she calls classified and exclusive information from State House.

In most cases, the information posted on the TVO account was damaging, compelling authorities to start the hunt for the user.

Security had earlier arrested Robert Shaka as the possible Okwalinga but the case crumbled probably due to lack of evidence.

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But it was hoped the High Court in Ireland would direct Facebook to reveal Okwalinga’s true identity in a court battle with Kampala lawyer Fred Muwema.

The lawyer sued the social media powerhouse following Okwalinga’s controversial claims that he had pocketed Shs900 million delivered by former information and national guidance minister Jim Muhwezi to stage manage a break in at his chambers in Kololo so the state could tamper with critical evidence of his client and former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi.

But the court in February allowed Facebook’s plea to conceal Okwalinga’s identity as it would put his/her life in danger and expose him to harassment from the government.

Museveni, who spoke with confidence, said abusers of social media can no longer hide as the new technology acquired by government can trace them.

He further gave an example of American technology entrepreneur Mark Elliot Zuckerberg who recently appeared to appear before the Congress over Facebook’s misuse of its users’ data, saying new media would soon be controlled worldwide.

Museveni appealed to media houses to verify social media content before disseminating it for public consumption.

“You can see when somebody is telling a lie deliberately. You have a responsibility to filter information. You own and run the media, I am telling you that if you want your people to survive, we should push for patriotism, economic transformation and Pan-Africanism,” he said.

Okwalinga’s Facebook account has been down for almost two months.

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