Supporters of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) have decried the recent purge on Facebook and Twitter where tens of pro-government accounts were suspended permanently.
The purge that started on Facebook early this week saw accounts of blogger Ashburg Katto, presidential adviser on youth matters, Jennifer Nakanguubi alias Full Figer and several other pro-government Facebook accounts being permanently unpublished.
This would later extend to another social media platform, Twitter, where at least three accounts belonging to government supporters were suspended.
Commenting on the suspensions, presidential press secretary Don Wanyama said that owners of these social media platforms are trying to stifle voices of pro-NRM supporters and this should be checked.
“Big techs like Twitter and Facebook are being used by opponents of NRM to stifle pro-NRM voices in Uganda. They should ‘unfreeze’ accounts they froze yesterday and today. We pray UCC is watching and can act to ensure a fair digital play field,” Wanyama said.
Minister for Labour Frank Tumwebaze said that the owners of the platforms are abusing their own communication platforms.
“Connectivity should not be a right to enjoy at the mercy of tech giants. Facebook should unblock selectively targeted Ugandan accounts ASAP,” Tumwebaze said.
Ashburg Katto claimed that his account was suspended by Facebook on request of the National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine’s handlers in the United States of America.
Katto asked President Museveni to disable Facebook in Uganda until his account is reinstated.
In November last year, Government wrote to Google asking them to take down pages associated with National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine for spreading propaganda. Google however did not take action.
With three days to the presidential elections on Thursday 14th January 2021, Ugandans are already expecting an internet shutdown in the country like the case was in the 2016 general election.
Several reports have also indicated that Ugandans are experiencing difficulties in downloading mobile applications and playing videos on Facebook.
Government is however yet to respond this claim.