By Kwame Ismail Nkuruzinza
Less than 48 hours after Facebook confirmed that it had blocked several accounts linked to prominent National Resistance Movement (NRM) mobilisers, the Ugandan government has retaliated by shutting down the social media platform.
Many Ugandans woke up on Tuesday morning to the shock of not being able to access Facebook, on top of WhatsApp calls failing to connect, just a day ahead of the much-anticipated presidential elections.
Although it’s not clear if the order to shut down Facebook was issued by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), there have been calls by different government supporters to block the social media site that NRM supporters some regard as being biased and bent on supporting the opposition.
The move however comes a few days after Facebook had rejected a request from government to pull down all pages and accounts that are regarded supportive of National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine.
But when Facebook refused to pull the pages and accounts down, NRM agents, among them Ashburg Kato managed to hack and delete some of the NUP pages and in retaliation, Facebook pulled down and or closed all accounts of NRM mobilisers.
Insiders intimate that it is for that reason that the government has since decided block Facebook in Uganda, as a tit-for-tat game.
Over the weekend, one of the affected government officials identified as Don Wanyama, a Senior Press Secretary to the President, used his twitter account to attack Facebook and other technology moguls who he said are being used by the opposition to destabilize Uganda.
“Big tech companies like Facebook are being used by the opposition sympathisers to stifle pro NRM voices on the internet,” Don tweeted
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