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Uganda: President Museveni orders shut down of social media ahead of elections

The list of banned social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Signal and Viber.

• January 13, 2021
(Credit: Yahoo News)

The government of Uganda has ordered the shutdown of social media and messaging apps ahead of the election on Thursday against musician turned politician, Bobi Wine.

President Museveni, wearing a military jacket, appeared in a televised speech, accusing social media platform Facebook of bias as he confirmed the shutdown of social media and messaging apps in the country.

“That social channel you are talking about, if it is going to operate in Uganda, it should be used equitably by everybody who wants to use it,” Mr. Museveni said, “If you want to take sides against the [ruling party], then that group will not operate in Uganda.”

The 76 year old president, who is seeking re-election for the sixth term, said that he would not accept anybody playing with the country or decide who (political candidates) is good or bad.

Local media reports that the regulatory body, Uganda Communications Commission, had sent out a letter ordering telecommunications companies to “immediately suspend any access and use” of social media and online messaging platforms, hours after Facebook had closed “fake” accounts it said were linked to the government.

The list of banned social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Signal and Viber.

There has been political tensions in Uganda ahead of the January 14 general election which has led to riots and loss of lives. The President waved aside the murder of 54 protesters by security forces, describing them as “Insurrectionists”

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