The Uganda Communications commission (UCC) ordered Internet service providers to block popular the social media services of Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter in Uganda. The UCC which regulates communication providers in Uganda also ordered telecoms to block access to Mobile money. However the block started before any official announcement was made by telecoms. It was at around midday yesterday when the UCC issued an official statement.
The UCC gave a mediocre agrument that they had been blocked due to security reason and President Museveni says they blocked social media to stop the spread of propaganda and lies during the election period. The UCC boss said Mobile money was blocked because they received reports that it would aide the election malpractice activities like rigging.
Social media users in Uganda aren’t happy with the blockage and resorted to simple methods of bypassing the block. One can access their social media accounts by simply downloading a VPN app like TunnelBear, hotspot shield, SuperVPN etc or configure a proxy in order to access the internet.
Unfortunately, Mobile money which happens to be the commonest and most instant and efficient money transfer service is blocked and their is no way around it.
Much as the President was quoted to say that the ban is temporary, the ban will only be removed when the UCC, Electoral commission and Security Forces find that the situation has stabilized enough for the threat to be minimal. This means their is no official date when the block will be removed.
The UCC has issued a statement saying that it has realized that many people are using security apps to bypass the blockage. The regulatory authority claims that it track down and charge those using these apps with Treason.