It was jubilation galore on Monday, as Uganda switched on the internet after it had shut it down before it’s presidential election.
The internet was switched off o. January 13 following fears that it would be used to spread messages of hate and violence amid the country’s general elections held on January 14.
Ofwono Opondo, government spokesman told Xinhua by telephone that the internet had been switched on after data collected indicated that there would be no violence.
“Internet was switched off because people wanted to spread messages of hate and violence, as well as discredit the integrity of our elections,” Opondo said.
“We think now people have come to terms with the results.
“However, we remain on alert,” he added.
On January 13, a day before the country went for presidential and parliamentary elections the internet was switched off.
“Whatever was done was done for the good of the country.
“The opposition was affected and the ruling party was also affected. Even the general public was affected,” Opondo said.
Although the internet is now on, social media is still blocked.
In the Thursday election, incumbent President Yoweri Museveni won with 58.64 per cent of the tallied votes while his closest rival Robert Kyagulanyi got 34.83 per cent.
The presidential race attracted 11 candidates.
BREAKING NEWS: Govt Orders All Social Media Platforms Shutdown Till Further Notice
The Government of Uganda through the Communications Commission has directed all mobile operators to immediately block all access to Facebook, WhatsApp, other social media platforms and online messaging applications, until further notice.
The East African nation go to the polls on Thursday, January 14 in an election pitting incumbent Yoweri Museveni against 10 candidates including opposition front-runner Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (popularly known as Bobi Wine), a singer-turned-lawmaker whose star power has rattled the ruling party, in a way like never before.
The 38-year-old Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform have rallied the youths in a bid to challenge the 75-year-old Museveni who has been in office since 1986; using the power of the social media in huge campaigns that have left several of his aides, bodyguards and members of his entourage been arrested, jailed and killed.
Big tech giants, Facebook had on Monday, taken down a network in Uganda linked to the country’s Ministry of Information for using fake and duplicate accounts to post ahead of this week’s presidential election., a move that was roundly criticised by the Government.
Uganda ordered internet service providers to block all social media platforms and messaging apps on Tuesday until further notice, a letter from the country’s communications regulator seen by Reuters said.
Users had complained earlier on Tuesday that they were unable to access Facebook and WhatsApp, social media platforms being widely used for campaigning ahead of Thursday’s presidential election in the East African country.
“Uganda Communications Commission hereby directs you to immediately suspend any access and use, direct or otherwise, of all social media platforms and online messaging applications over your network until further notice,” said the letter from the commission’s executive director to internet providers.
The commission’s spokesman Ibrahim Bbossa and government spokesman Ofwono Opondo did not answer calls requesting comment. An aide to Minister of Information Judith Nabakooba said she was unable to comment at the moment.
A source in Uganda’s telecom sector said the government had made clear to executives at telecoms companies that the social media ban was in retaliation for Facebook blocking some pro-government accounts
Tanzania to Auction 30 Wildlife Hunting Blocks
The Tanzanian government has invited interested bidders as it auctions 30 “tourist hunting blocks” within game reserves and other areas.
“The Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) invites applications from qualified applicants for the allocation of Tourist Hunting Blocks through electronic auctioning,” the authority says on its website.
Tawa has set out requirements for companies interested in the blocks, including being registered “within Tanzania intending to engage in hunting of animals”, as well having at least one director with five years of experience in wildlife-based business and conservation in the country.
“Eligible hunting companies can be allocated up to five hunting blocks each, which shall be of different categories. Auctioning will commence on 8 February 2021 and will last for seven consecutive days” the authority says.
Some of the hunting blocks are located within the Selous Game Reserve ecosystem, which is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Tourism is one of the key pillars of Tanzanian economy.
The government initially placed 26 hunting blocks on an online auctioning platform in 2019 in order to enhance transparency and curb corruption.
Last year’s auction was reportedly shelved after the government was unable to sell many of the blocks in previous auctions
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