UGANDA: State Shuts Down Social Media on Election Day

KAMPALA FEBRUARY 19, 2016 (CISA) – Ugandan government blocked its citizens from accessing Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook on the day of the presidential elections and parliamentary elections.

However President Yoweri Museveni, who is vying for the top seat for the fifth time after ruling the country for the last 30 years, defended the ban.

“Social media shutdown is a security measure to avert lies…intended to incite violence and illegal declaration of the results,” said Museveni.

The move was condemned by human rights organizations and the elections observers as an affront to human rights freedom of expression.

“The Uganda’s government decision to block access to social media on mobile phones on Election Day is a blatant violation of Uganda’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression and to seek and receive information,” Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International Deputy regional director said.

“It is ill advised if anyone has blocked social media,” said Commonwealth election Observer mission head, Olusegun Obasanjo.

They were however later able to access social media via Tunnelbear Virtual Private Network (VPN) after the intervention of Amama Mbabazi, a former Prime Minister and presidential candidate.

Counting is currently going on and results are expected on Saturday, February 20.

Leave a Reply