World

Ugandan government blocks access to social media two days to presidential election

The government of Uganda has directed internet service providers in the country to immediately suspend access and use of social media platforms and online messaging apps on Tuesday. 

The directive which was ordered through a letter by the country’s Communications Commission executive director Irene Sewankambo, comes just two days to the country’s January 14 presidential elections. 

Heading to the election, WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms have been used for campaigning and keeping tabs on events surrounding the election. But to their shock, they cannot use or access these apps on Tuesday and there was no prior communication for why it was done. 

On Thursday, Ugandan voters will be choosing a new president with musician-turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), 38, now the main challenger to 76-year-old President Yoweri Museveni who has been ruling the country since 1986 and seeking a sixth term. 

There have been allegations of oppression by the incumbent president Museveni against journalists and political opponents. 

This latest ban of social media and online messaging apps is seen by some as the continuous oppression by Museveni and a clapback to Facebook shut down of some accounts that are linked to the Ugandan government on Monday. 

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