Thursday February 18 2016

Museveni explains social media, mobile money shutdown

By TABU BUTAGIRA

KAMPALA- The president, who is seeking re-election in the ongoing voting on the ticket of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party ticket, says the facebook, twitter and watsapp were taken down as a temporary security measure because some people use them as pathways for “telling lies”

 “That must be steps taken for security to stop so many [social media users from] getting in trouble; it’s temporary [and] it will go away because some people misuse those pathways for telling lies. You tell lies but you do not know that the authorities [can] restrain [of the] them (platforms) until sometime,” he told journalists at 3:31pm, shortly after casting his vote in the western Kiruhura district. It was not clear if he was speaking in his capacity as the president or presidential candidate.

 Uganda Communications Commission the statutory communications regulator, cited similar but unspecified national security reason for the shutdown at around 8am on Thursday. This was an hour after people began voting to pick a president and Members of Parliament in an exercise delayed in various parts of the country due to late delivery of voting materials. Some of the polling stations have closed prematurely or voting at them cancelled after clashes between supporters of rival candidates or confrontations with security personnel.

 Mobile Telecommunications Network, Uganda’s telecommunications leader, tweeted at around 3pm that UCC ordered them to taken down the sites and disable mobile money transaction platform.

 “The UCC has directed MTN to disable all SocialMedia & MobileMoney services due to a threat to public order & safety,” the telecom company said.

tbutagira@ug.nationmedia.com

 

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