Ugandan Dictator Gen. Museveni Shuts Social Media Heading into Jan. 14 Elections

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[My Free Thoughts]


Heading to Uganda’s Thursday, Jan. 14 elections, panicking dictator of 35 years Gen. Yoweri Museveni has switched off social media and deployed military tanks across the country.


The old curmudgeon first contesting for president in 1980, 40 years ago. He lost terribly, not even winning a seat in Parliament—he was defeated by his in-law current minister of foreign affairs Sam Kutesa—and launched a war, seizing power in 1986. His first words when he was sworn in was to condemn African leaders for staying too long in power. Here he is, presently facing stiff competition from a 38-year-old Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine, of National Unity Platform (NUP), and Patrick Oboi Amuriat, of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)


The whole nation woke up Tuesday morning and to universal chagrin, people were not able to login on all the social media and messenger applications like Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, and many others. This is a careless and perfunctory move by the desperate regime to hide or restrict dissemination of pictures and videos of gross human rights violations during, and after, the parliamentary and presidential elections. This is not the first time the rogue regime of Gen. Museveni has cut off social media, it was first switched off during, and after the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.


A letter from Uganda Communications commission (UCC) signed by the executive director Ms. Irene Sewankambo ordered telecommunication companies in Uganda to immediately suspend any access and use of social media and all online messaging platforms. The letter also lists a number of 100 Virtual Private Network (VPN) which Ugandan use to access social media, to be blocked.


“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,” reads part of the letter from UCC to internet providers in Uganda.


Meanwhile after a failed government attempt to cajole U.S tech giants to pull down many online broadcasting channels linked to opposition candidate Bobi Wine, 

the rogue regime has resorted to arresting all people suspected of helping Bobi Wine post information online.


In a joint press conference the main opposition candidates and their parties have all agreed to work together to protect their votes from being stolen by the dictator. 

His popularity evaporated decades ago yet he still imposed himself on Ugandans through electoral fraud and gun-rule.

The columnist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija can be reached via 

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