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Facebook is interfering in the electoral process of Uganda – Wanyama

by Mustapha Olamide
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A Ugandan official accused Facebook of meddling in the East African country’s election after several accounts linked to President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign were removed for alleged inauthentic behavior.

Presidential spokesman Don Wanyama told The Associated press on Monday that Facebook’s action was evidence of what Ugandan authorities see as outside support of Bobi Wine, the leading opposition candidate in presidential elections scheduled for Thursday.

“Facebook is interfering in the electoral process of Uganda,” he said. “If people wanted to have the evidence of outside interference, now they have it.”

Wanyama charged that Facebook had blocked the accounts of Museveni’s mobilizers, especially those that communicate within the local Luganda language.

Among those affected may be a singer referred to as Full Figure, who may be a well-known campaigner for Museveni, he said.

Some of the blocked Ugandan accounts campaigned harshly against presidential challenger Wine. The 38-year-old Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has fired the imagination of the many across Africa as he tries to unseat Museveni, who has deployed the military to stop what he sees as opposition attempts to make civil unrest that would cause regime change. Wine’s rallies are often disrupted by police, sometimes violently.

Wine and other opposition figures have called the 76-year-old Museveni a dictator. Museveni has accused Wine of being an agent of “outsiders, homosexuals et al. who don’t just like the stability and independence of Uganda.”

Wine, a well-liked singer before he won a seat in parliament, has attracted national attention because the beret-wearing leader of a movement referred to as “People Power.” He has been arrested repeatedly and sometimes beaten within the past year for alleged offenses like disobeying lawful orders. He has not been convicted of any charges.

Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986. He has defied many involves his retirement, saying he has been elected repeatedly by Ugandans who love him.

Ugandan polls are often marred by allegations of rigging. The country has never seen a peaceful transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1962.

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