When social media blackout returned to Uganda

No one in Uganda was able to use social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp on Wednesday ahead of President Yoweri Museveni’s inauguration for a controversial fifth term.

“President Museveni’s inauguration comes amidst a crackdown on the rights to the freedom of expression, association and assembly,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Telecoms operators in the country told subscribers that they were ordered to disable all social media support for security reasons.

Social media access was also blocked in the country in February during the presidential election which saw Museveni declared winner with 61 percent of the vote. His long-standing opponent who was also his former physician Kizza Besigye said the election denounced the vote “the most fraudulent electoral process”. Besigye was arrested on Wednesday after the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) announced it will hold an alternative inauguration of the opposition candidate on Thursday, the same day chosen for President Museveni’s inauguration.

Museveni, who seized power in 1986, is one of Africa’s longest serving leaders.