KAMPALA, January 14 – Uganda’s opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has said his phone has been blocked and he cannot make or receive regular calls.
In a tweet on Election Day, Bobi Wine said the move is to stop him from communicating with agents and coordinators.
“I encourage you comrades to be vigilant as I try to devise ways of reaching out to you,” he told his supporters.
This came a day after his wife, Barbara Kyagulanyi, said her phone was also blocked.
Like my wife's, my phone has been blocked and I am unable to recieve or make regular calls. I know this is to stop me from communicating to our agents and coordinators. I encourage you comrades to be vigilant as I try to devise ways of reaching out to you.#WeAreRemovingADictator
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) January 14, 2021
Uganda is currently under a internet shutdown following an order by the dictatorial regime of President Yoweri Museveni.
On Wednesday, Bobi Wine warned that there was conspiracy by Museveni and “his biased Electoral Commission” to rig the election.
“ A plot to rig is set, internet is completely shut down and media is censored. However, the people of Uganda are firm and nothing will stop them from ending this oppressive regime,” Bobi Wine said in a tweet.
UN Special Rapporteur Freedom of Association Clement Voule on Wednesday said access to information and communication tools is critical for fair, transparent and peaceful elections.
US Assistant Secretary for the Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs Tibor Nagy said social media restrictions undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In a letter seen by news agencies on Tuesday, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director Irene Sewankambo ordered telecommunications companies to “immediately suspend any access and use” of social media and online messaging platforms.
On Wednesday, Telecom Company MTN Uganda confirmed it had received an order to suspend access to social media and online messaging apps.
Some of the affected platforms include WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Signal and Viber and Telegram.