Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni who is seeking a sixth term has started that he would accept election results no matter the outcome.
Speaking to CNN, Museveni declared that he will be ready to step aside if the election results will not come out in his favour.
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) January 12, 2021
Museveni at the same time has accused social media giant Facebook of arrogance and bias as he confirmed ordering the shut down of social media and messaging apps ahead of Thursday’s election.
Mr Museveni, dressed in a military jacket, said in a televised speech that he would not accept anybody to play with the country or decide who (political candidates) is good or bad.
He said if Facebook was to operate in Uganda, it should be used equitably by everyone.
Uganda’s communications regulator on Tuesday told telecoms firms to block access to social media and messaging apps, hours after Facebook had closed “fake” accounts it said were linked to the government.
Facebook said the accounts were being used to manipulate public debate in the highly hotly contested election.
Users of social media and messaging apps began reporting disruptions early Tuesday on Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat.
Twitter has responded by saying the shut down violates basic human rights and the principles of an open internet.
Meanwhile, the US has condemned the government’s decision to shut down social media, while the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for respect for human rights.
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “encourages all political actors and their supporters to publicly commit to conduct their political activities peacefully and refrain from incitement to violence or hate speech,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
US diplomat for Africa Tibor Nagy tweeted: “Such restrictions undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
Bobi Wine, the 38-year-old popularly known as the “ghetto president” who hung up the mic to enter politics, leads the opposition field trying to unseat Museveni, a 76-year-old former rebel leader who has ruled since 1986.
Some 18 million voters are registered for the presidential and parliamentary ballot, which follows a pre-election crackdown more severe than any seen in recent times, and growing signs the race has been tilted against Museveni’s rivals.
Wine, who was three when Museveni took power, blames corruption for holding back the dreams and aspirations of young Ugandans.
“We want change. There are no jobs, no money, we can’t go to study and when we go to the hospital, there is no medicine,” said 23-year-old Dorah Wasswa, hawking cheap wares on a pot-holed Kampala street.
On her wrist, a bright red band emblazoned with a clenched black fist – a symbol of Wine, who has promised supporters “we are removing a dictator”.
“Bobi Wine will bring change and things will get better.”