Uganda has shutdown popular social networking sites including facebook, twitter and whatsap just hours to the swearing in ceremony that will seal the much contested victory of President Yoweri Museveni.
Museveni is expected to swear in at a colorful ceremony on May 12, 2016.
The February 18, 2016 elections that gave Museveni 60.8 percent victory against his main challenger of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change Party, Dr. Kizza Besigye also came on a background of social media and mobile electronic cash transfer services blackout.
East Africa Daily’s contributing editor in Kampala, Edward Tumwine said the crackdown did not come as a surprise to many Ugandans.
“Military helicopters have been hovering over Kampala sky for the last four days. Also there is heavy Military presence patrolling every inch of the city reportedly to crack down opposition led protests, so Majority Ugandans I spoke to seemed not surprised with the action” Tumwine said.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli arrived earlier in the day, clearing rumors that regional leaders have shunned the function for the World Economic Forum (WEF) taking place in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
Tumwine said a long list of African leaders is expected to attend the ceremony.
“So far, Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Mali’s Ibrahim Boubaca, Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufour, Idriss Deby of Chad, and Zambia’s Edgar Lungu are here, among other delegates and representatives, we are expecting more,” He said
Network service providers in Uganda including South Africa based MTN have made public disclaimers saying the lock down is in response to a state demand.
The UCC has issued a directive to shut down all social media platforms immediately until otherwise advised by government. (3/4)
— MTN Uganda (@mtnug) May 11, 2016
MTN said on its twitter handle they are by law required by act to the demand as directed by the regulator Uganda Communication Commission (UCC).
Security sources say the lock down is a security action