By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: President Museveni in his pro-election address this evening has revealed that social media platforms have been shut down in Uganda because they opposed his government citing the recent blockage of his party’s social media accounts.
President’s communication comes after a letter sent to internet providers by the Uganda Communications Commission saying popular services like Facebook and WhatsApp must be suspended “until further notice.”
“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.
Museveni’s says the UCC’s initiative to shut down social media is an act of revenge after the U.S. social media giant facebook shut down accounts linked to Uganda’s ministry of information and key NRM bloggers’ accounts for “using fake and duplicate accounts to post ahead of this week’s election.”
According to the current status of the network in the country by the time of filing this article is that there are widespread restrictions to social media and online communication platforms on major internet providers in the country as of Tuesday 12 January 2021.
Real-time metrics show that Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, Viber, Google Play Store, some Telegram servers and link shortening services among a lengthy list of a pre-selected set of social websites unavailable via Uganda’s main cell network operators. YouTube remains available at the time of writing.