Internet Blocked in Uganda as Polls Close in Volatile Election

Internet Blocked in Uganda as Polls Close in Volatile Election

Violence and Covid-19 have defined the Uganda election - Image Source: Twitter

INTERNET providers have completely shut down Uganda’s net infrastructure as polls close in an extremely volatile Presidential election.

Polls closed on Thursday (January 14th) in one of Uganda’s most hotly contested elections in recent memory. Veteran President Yoweri Museveni is running for his 6th term in office, while popular singer Robert “Bobi Wine” Kyagulanyi is his main challenger.

Dozens of people have been killed in the lead-up to the election, many losing their lives during a crackdown on mass gatherings due to Covid-19 concerns. Museveni promises Ugandans stability in a time of crisis, while 38-year old Bobi Wine claims he is representing the youth in a country with one of the world’s youngest populations.

Uganda’s internet has been completely shut-down during the election, allegedly on orders of the government. Text messages are also reportedly having issues, while online advocacy group Access Now has urged providers to not follow the government order in blocking the internet.

Questions have been raised about the integrity of Uganda’s election, with US government observers pulling out of the country when none of their requests for accreditation of votes were met by the government. With an extremely young population of over 40 million people, it is certain that this election will prove significant for Uganda’s future in a rapidly modernising Africa.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...