Uganda Elections 2021- OkayAfrica

Face masks with two most popular candidates for Uganda's Presidential election, incumbent President Yoweri Museveni (R) and Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, the pop star-turned-opposition leader, printed on them are sold in Kampala, Uganda, on January 4, 2021. - Uganda gears up for presidential elections which is scheduled to take place on January 14, 2021, as President Yoweri Museveni seeks another term to continue his 35-year rule.

Photo by SUMY SADURNI/AFP via Getty Image

Uganda Enforces Social Media Shutdown as Presidential Elections Draw Closer

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly banned all social media platforms and messaging applications two days ahead of the country's presidential elections.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly banned all social media and messaging applications in the country. This ban comes just two days ahead of the country's national elections. Ugandan social media users have been unable to access both Facebook and WhatsApp since this past Tuesday. The social media ban follows after social media platform Facebook removed Museveni's alleged rogue government accounts.

Read: Ugandan Military Raids Politician Bobi Wine's Residence

According to the New York Post, Facebook removed accounts that used fake and duplicate account details to campaign and comment on various Ugandan accounts for Museveni. The suspicious accounts were taken down on Monday. Following Facebook's actions Uganda's communications regulator reportedly ordered the country's internet service providers to block all social media platforms until further notice, according to DW. Access to all social media was suspended with immediate effect.

The presidential race has seemingly been violent against main opposition leader, Bobi Wine. The ban coincides with the recent military house raid of his home. Furthermore, Ugandan-American, Herman Ainebyona, has allegedly been kidnapped. Ainebyona is the US-based Lead Diaspora Coordinator of Wine's political party National Unity Platform (NUP). The NUP has, in light of the events, issued an official statement calling for information about his whereabouts and release. Videos of the alleged kidnapping have been circulating on Instagram and Twitter under #UgandaDecides2021.

Twitter which is also included in the social media ban strongly condemned Uganda's social media shutdown. The 76-year-old Yoweri has been in power for just over 35 years and is the third longest running president in Africa. The national elections take place on 14 January 2021.