Uganda gov’t not ready to lift ‘social media lockdown’

Social Media in Uganda remains under general lockdown since the eve of the January 14th general elections and a fortnight later, government maintains that ban will not be lifted until the security operatives are satisfied with situation and the ability for social media to maintain the status quo once open.

This means Ugandans cannot access apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Snapchat, Zoom. The govt is also blocking most used VPNs including other sites like GitHub.

In a press conference yesterday, Minister of Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odong, told the media that “We will open when we consider it is safe for social media, not necessarily the social situation, I mean the general security situation specifically that aspect. Because we know the damage it is doing sometime but we also know the benefits it gives us. So we are in a balancing act. And certainly we will able to permit it to proceed as before once we have carried out that assessment and we are satisfied that it is okay.“

This as Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odong, and Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola addressed the country on the post elections security situation, following numerous threats, blackmail and mad slinging that was being passed through social media they had no choice but to take action.

The govt believes the citizens should be happy that social media was shutdown to ensure their safety. This comes at a time when majority of Ugandans including government agencies, PMS and civil servants are already using these online social platforms by utilizing VPNs to by pass the restrictions implemented by the telecom firms and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on the directives of the government. This move will the government’s ability to collect OTT taxes.

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