Ahead of Uganda’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Thursday that pits the enduring incumbent Yoweri Museveni against opposition frontrunner and popular singer Bobi Wine, the country has restricted access to social media and other messaging apps.
Users started to complain about the blackout on Tuesday. Uganda’s communications regulator (UCC) ordered the country’s internet service providers to block all social media platforms until further notice. The letter told telecommunications firms to “immediately suspend any access and use” of the apps and sites.
Already, the elections has been marred by violence and political intimidation, leading to the death of people. While election monitors have been prosecuted, government critics have been jailed and journalists reporting on opposition rallies have been attacked.
Museveni, a 76-year-old former guerrilla leader who seized power in 1986, is looking to secure a sixth term. Wine, on the other hand, has been tipped to end Museveni’s protracted tenure, enjoying goodwill from Uganda’s young population.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies, anime and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.