KAMPALA, 12 January 2021 – Ugandan authorities have shutdown social media and messaging apps ahead of legislative and presidential elections next January 14.

Global wire services like Reuters and the French News Agency reported Tuesday that they had seen copies of letters to all the telecoms firms in the country ordering them to shut service down.

Ugandan government shutsdown social media before ballot

Ugandan government shutsdown social media before ballot – Photo WETAYA

The letters were from the telecoms regulatory body, the Ugandan Communications Commission.

On Monday, Facebook shutdown what it called “fake” accounts.

The online giant said the so-called “fake” accounts were really linked to the government of Uganda.

Kampala slammed Facebook on the deletion of the accounts, describing the action taken by Facebook as “high-handed”.

Tension, arrests, detentions, the killing of over 50 civilians and other forms of violence have marred the election campaign.

No opposition leader has been more targeted than Robert Kyagulanyi, better known under his artist’s name Bobi Wine.

Ugandans are discovering just much they missed VPN

Ugandans are discovering just much they missed VPN – Photo The Observer

Bobi Wine is seen as the most formidable challenge to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, 76, who seeks a record sixth term at the helm of the east African nation.

Bobi Wine is also one of those targeed the most by the shutdown of social media.

The Ugandan Communications Commission which regulates the telecoms sector has not officially confirmed the shutdown.

The Ugandan government also shutdown access to the Internet during the 2016 elections.

Ugandans turned Tuesday to downloads of VPN, according to Google Play.

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