Presidential elections: Uganda shuts down all social media platforms till further notice

The Uganda Communications Commission has directed all network operators to immediately block all access to Facebook, WhatsApp, other social media platforms and online messaging applications, until further notice.

This is with regards to the Ugandan Presidential elections coming up on Thursday, January 14 2021 involving the incumbent  President Yoweri Museveni against 10 candidates including opposition front-runner Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (popularly known as Bobi Wine), a singer-turned-lawmaker who has seemed to pose a bigger threat to the incumbent President.

Uganda ordered internet service providers to block all social media platforms and messaging apps on Tuesday until further notice, a letter from the country’s communications regulator seen by Reuters said.

“Uganda Communications Commission hereby directs you to immediately suspend any access and use, direct or otherwise, of all social media platforms and online messaging applications over your network until further notice,” said the letter from the commission’s executive director to internet providers.

The 38-year-old Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform have rallied the youths in a bid to challenge the 75-year-old Museveni who has been in office since 1986; using the power of the social media in huge campaigns that have left several of his aides, bodyguards and members of his entourage been arrested, jailed and killed.

Interent Users in Uganda have started to complain earlier on Tuesday that they were unable to access Facebook and WhatsApp, social media platforms being widely used for campaigning ahead of Thursday’s presidential election in the East African country.

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