Internet Restored in Uganda After Month-Long Shutdown
Kampala — Internet and social media services have been fully restored, ICT State minister of Uganda Ogwang Ogwang has just announced. It was switched off on the eve of the elections held on January 14, and Ugandans have been using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to get around the blockage since.
“We apologize for the inconveniences caused, but it was for the security of our country. Let’s be constructive, NOT destructive consumers/users of social media,” he said in a tweet.
The development comes a day after the elections petition filed by Robert Kyagulanyi, one of the candidates, started at the Supreme Court.
Last week, when his lawyers filed their response to the presidential petition, President Yoweri Museveni defended his government’s decision to shut down the internet, days before the January 14 general election.
This is in the affidavit filed in response to a petition by Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu, his main challenger in the just concluded elections.
In his petition filed on Monday this week, Kyagulanyi said Museveni was declared winner fraudulently after the Electoral Commission, Museveni himself and the Attorney General engaged in acts that offended the laws governing elections in Uganda.
The total shutdown of the internet, that took at least five days, is one of the grounds on which Kyagulanyi wants Museveni’s victory annulled. He said that the shutdown which persists for Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram among others, not only denied Ugandans their right to communication and association, but also crippled his ability to gather and transmit Declaration of Results Forms from his agents across the country.
Museveni’s lawyers of K&K Advocates and Byenkya, Kihika & Co. Advocates filed their response to a presidential petition by Kyagulanyi seeking to overturn the victory of Museveni who was declared president-elect by the Electoral Commission on January 16.