I hate arrogant people, they shall not operate here – Museveni reveals why Uganda blocked Facebook ahead of elections
President Yoweri Museveni has revealed why government decided to block social media platforms especially Facebook ahead of Thursday’s general elections.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday, the President said as NRM government, they cannot allow anybody to come and play around with Uganda by deciding who is good or bad.
“I am sorry for the inconvenience to those who have been using this channel (Facebook), but we cannot tolerate this arrogance of anybody coming to decide for us who is good and who is bad,” Museveni assured.
“I told our people to warn those Facebook people. If they do not want to corporate, they shall not operate here. I am sure government has already closed social media.”
Museveni’s comments come hot on the heels of Facebook’s decision to shut down several accounts linked to the country’s Ministry of Information. The social media company accused the blocked people of using fake accounts to promote the ruling party and the President.
The Facebook accounts shut down were allegedly linked to the “Citizens Interaction Center” at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.
In a statement issued on Monday, Facebook accuses the account holders of using fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users and re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular than they were.
Duncan Abigaba, the deputy head of the center, said the accounts were targeted because of their support for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the ruling National Resistance Movement or NRM.
Abigaba said the action by Facebook is unfair since members of the opposition National Unity Platform party, led by singer-turned-politician Bobi Wine, have been using social media to promote Wine’s presidential candidacy.
“So, NRM had to try and sell our candidate as well in the social media space. By selling the candidate, it means you have to employ different tactics including you put out content. And this content you must share it in different groups for it to have as much reach as possible,” said Abigaba.
The Uganda Communications Commission had written to Facebook and Twitter late last year, demanding it shut down several accounts it said were being used wrongly by members of the opposition National Unity Platform.
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