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Uganda Turns on Internet Connection Days After Shut Down, Social Media Remains Blocked

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Uganda on Monday switched on the internet after shutting it down on January 13, fearing that it would be used to spread messages of hate and violence ahead of the country’s general elections held on January 14.

Ofwono Opondo, government spokesman said that the internet is only switched on after data collected indicate that there will 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 had its 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 Ugandans are celebrating the resumption of internet services after a shutdown was imposed ahead of last week’s election, social media platforms remain blocked and are only accessible using Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

President Yoweri Museveni, who won an unprecedented sixth term in office, accused the platforms of being biased.

In the Thursday election, Museveni won with 58.64 per cent of the tallied votes while his closest rival Robert Kyagulanyi scored a mere 34.83 per cent.

The presidential race was contested by 11 candidates, only one of them was female.

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East Africa Politics News

Uganda’s President Museveni, Chinese Diplomats in Bilateral Discussions

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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has met with visiting senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Entebbe to discuss promoting bilateral relations between the two countries.

Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee pointed out that China-Uganda relations have developed smoothly in the last few years.

China supports Uganda in its pursuit of a development path suited to its national conditions and stands ready to work with Uganda to further deepen political mutual trust and enhance the complementarity of development strategies.

China plans to expand practical cooperation within the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative and implementing the outcomes of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, as well as pushing the bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership to a new height.

China has declared readiness to continue to cooperate with Uganda in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic and jointly promote the building of a community of common health for mankind.

Museveni stressed that Uganda abides by the one-China principle, opposes foreign interference in China’s internal affairs, and is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China in international and regional affairs.

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Uganda: Bobi Wine Withdraws Election Results Petition

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Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a.k.a Bobi Wine, has withdrawn his challenging the results of Uganda’s January 14 presidential election from the Supreme Court, citing judges bias.

The National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, who is seen as the leader of the opposition in Uganda, said he is dropping his case because the courts are filled with “yes-men” appointed by President Yoweri Museveni and he did not expect a fair decision from the panel of nine judges.

Recall that Bobi Wine had gone to the supreme court after losing the Ugandan poll to Museveni. The 76-year-old, who has been in power since 1986, won a 6th term with 58% of the vote while Wine had 35%.

Bobi Wine, who was four years old when Museveni grabbed power, called those results fraudulent, citing cases of soldiers allegedly stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for people, chasing voters away from polling stations and asked the court to overturn the results.

The musician turned politician says that he will now take the matter to the court of public opinion, using non-violent means.

Recall that Bobi Wine had initially said he did not wish to launch a legal challenge because a courtroom loss would validate Museveni’s victory.

Museveni won previous legal challenges to his election victories, and analysts had predicted the judges were still unlikely to rule against him.

More than 50 people were killed in violence ahead of the election.

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Uganda: Soldiers Assault Journalists at Bobi Wine UNHRC Petition Submission

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Ugandan security forces on Wednesday beat up and injured journalists who were covering the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate in January 14 election, Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine, deliver his petition to United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) offices in Kampala, the capital.

Several journalists at the event have reportedly been admitted to hospitals after the assault from military police who arrived outside the UNHRC office in trucks.

Stephen Bwire, Secretary-General of Uganda Journalists Union, said no fewer than 20 journalists were hurt in the attack, with at least four sustaining deep cuts on the head after getting thrashed with batons.

Bobi Wine lost the January 14 presidential election to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986. He rejected the results and has filed a court case seeking annulment of the poll, which he claimed was rigged.

President Yoweri Museveni recently announced the arrest and detention of of 300 people for rioting and other criminal acts.

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