Uganda blocks social media ahead of tense election

Ugandan authorities on Tuesday ordered telecoms to shut down social media and messaging services, just two days before a tense presidential election.

In a letter seen by AFP, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director Irene Sewankambo ordered telecommunications companies to ‘immediately suspend any access and use’ of social media and online messaging platforms.

An industry insider who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said the order was first communicated in ‘nasty and aggressive’ phone calls to the telecommunications companies on Tuesday morning.

The calls made it clear the order was retaliation for Facebook deleting pro-government accounts for seeking to manipulate public debate before Thursday’s key polls.

Users were turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to bypass the blockade.

President Yoweri Museveni, power in power since 1986 – is running against Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, a singer who became a Member of Parliament in 2017.

(Source: Africa News)