Yoweri Museveni explains social media, mobile money shutdown

Thursday February 18 2016

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni at a past

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni at a past rally in Kampala. He said social media sites were taken down on February 18, 2016 as a temporary security measure. PHOTO | AFP | ISAAC KASAMANI 

KAMPALA
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday said social media sites were taken down as a temporary security measure.

Mr Museveni, who is seeking re-election in the ongoing voting exercise, said the move was necessary because some people were using Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to peddle lies.

“That steps must be taken for security to stop so many (social media users from) getting in trouble; it is temporary because some people use those pathways for telling lies.

“You tell lies but you do not know that the authorities (can) restrain those (platforms) for some time,” he told journalists Thursday afternoon shortly after casting his vote in the western Kiruhura district.

Mr Museveni is seeking re-election on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party ticket

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) cited an unspecified national security reason for the shutdown at around 8am Thursday, an hour after voting began.

Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), the leading mobile service provider in Uganda, posted on its Twitter page that the UCC had ordered the company to take down the sites and disable the mobile money transfer platform.

“The UCC has directed MTN to disable all social media & mobile money services due to a threat to public order & safety,” the company stated.