Just two days ahead of presidential elections Uganda government banned social media and messaging apps on Tuesday. The government had made it clear to the executives of the telecom companies that this ban is in retaliation to Facebook which had blocked some pro government accounts.
In today’s era social media plays a very crucial role during elections as we have witnessed in case of India and the US. The International Press Institute, a global watchdog, said in a statement that Any efforts to block online access to journalists or members of the public are unacceptable breaches of the right to information.
On Monday, Facebook had shut down several accounts linked to the country’s Ministry of Information, citing reason that it was orchestrating numerous fake and duplicate accounts to promote the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and the President Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders.
The opposition frontrunner Bobi Wine, a popular singer about half the age of President Yoweri Museveni, has been using Facebook to relay live coverage of his campaigns and conferences. He accused that since most radio and TV stations are owned by government and Uganda’s leading daily is also state run many media outlets had declined to host him. Is is noteworthy that Bobi Wine had tweeted on Tuesday “The army has this morning raided my home, arrested all my security guards and anyone they could see around my premises”.