The Uganda government has issued warrants for the arrest of big tech founders Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey over what it termed as “interference in the democratic process” of a sovereign state.
Unlike Iraq that merely issued a warrant for the arrest of outgoing US president Donald Trump and sat to wait for the FBI to deliver him to Baghdad, the Ugandan government has shown it is not a bluffing State by dispatching two senior military intelligence officers to carry out the orders.
The development is a culmination of a fallout between the tech giants and Uganda as the East African nation prepared for January 14 polls, according to Job, who broke the made-up story while holidaying in the German city of Dusseldorf having been transponded by VPN.
The Uganda government spokesman confirmed to this reporter that the two senior military intelligence officers, at the ranks of Lieutenant General and Major General, had been dispatched with strict orders to return with Zuckerberg and Dorsey and their associates within 48 hours.
They left on Wednesday, January 13, flying the government’s recently acquired state-of-the-art US-made VPN jets.
“Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, and Dorsey and his co-culprits Evan Williams, Noah Glass and Biz Stone will answer for their separate attempts to sabotage our democratic process before the military court in Makindye,” the spokesman said.
“Uganda is not America where a president’s account can be blocked and deleted and mobs attack the Capitol,” he added.
Makindye, in the capital Kampala, is a military base that houses relic-like dungeons. In the 1970s, the dungeons were used for locking up dissidents, some of whom are said to have disappeared without a trace.
This reporter understands the accused tech senior executives will be state guests in the dungeons until after the swearing in of the election winner in May.
Facebook and Twitter have been blamed by several autocratic leaders, especially on the African continent, with former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak in particular lamenting the influence of the two in toppling his government in 2011.
Since the Arab Spring, African leaders have tended to not take chances during elections or public protests, always promptly shutting down social media to limit information flow among the populace.
California-based Facebook riled the government by closing accounts of ruling NRM party bloggers over “seeking to manipulate public debate ahead of elections.” The Uganda government reacted to the affront by ordering telecoms to shut down social media, with President Museveni, in power since 1986, warning that his government does not take lectures from anybody.
“Uganda is ours, it is not anybody’s. There is no way anybody can come and play around with our country, to decide who is good, who is bad, this one we will stop. We cannot accept that,” he said.
After the social media shutdown, San Francisco-based Twitter poured oil on the flame by saying it “strongly condemned internet shutdowns” in Uganda.
The government reacted by ordering the arrests.
Meanwhile, a fly on the wall during the meeting that made the resolution to arrest the tech giant senior executives told this reporter that there was confusion when one of the officers in attendance queried the choice of the jets.
“They are flying VPN jets but you know very well that these new jets fly strictly on autopilot so they can land anywhere,” the fly on the wall quoted a senior officer saying.
“Once activated, you cannot determine where the VPN jet takes you, what happens if they land in Prague (Croatia) or Frankfurt (Germany) instead of California and San Francisco?”
But another general slapped this notion down by saying he had heard every other person gloating about flying VPN jets so it shouldn’t be a big issue to two senior military intelligence officers.
This reporter has written to Zuckerberg and Dorsey for a comment but they were yet to respond after more than 24 hours, leading NRM bots in Kampala into gloating that the ‘big boys’ had gone into the mattress.
“They thought they ran the world,” said Oalaxess using VPN because the internet shutdown affects even regime bloggers.
“They have gone into hiding.”