Internet could be shut down as Museveni swears-in, Britain warns

Ugandans in Washington during their anti-Museveni protest

The British government has warned of a planned disruption of internet connectivity ahead of President Yoweri Museveni’s inauguration for a 6th elective presidential term.

Museveni, the winner of the violent January 14, 2021, presidential elections is set to take the presidential oath on May 12, 2021, before 4,042 guests at Kololo Independence grounds.

But since his main challenger at the elections, musician cum politician, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) denounced the election outcome; government anticipates protests in some parts of the country.

Following an increase in military deployments and patrols in and around the city, the British government has in an advisory to its citizens in Uganda or those intending to travel to Uganda, warned of a possibility of internet and social media shutdown.

“[There is] the likelihood of traffic disruption, heightened tensions and disruption to the internet and social media services due to the Presidential inauguration on May 12,” reads a message sent out to British citizens in Uganda.

This came as a group of Ugandans living in Britain, the Netherlands and the United States of America (USA), held protests in the respective capitals, urging the donor countries to cut aid to Uganda.

In London, Ugandan protestors marched to Downing Street, Westminster, with placards denouncing President Museveni’s government. They wore red outfits, chanting slogans of Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP) party.

Some of the protestors were wrapped in Ugandan flags and were holding placards inscribed with words such as abductions of Ugandans should stop, Enough is Enough, International Community stop supporting Museveni, while other placards were in support of NUP’s Bobi Wine President.

Another protest took place in the United States Capitol building and Mercury Public Affairs office in Washington where demonstrators called for a boycott of the President.

They also campaigned against his upcoming swearing-in ceremony next week.

They protested against Mercury Public which is providing strategic consulting services to Uganda despite human rights violations.

Uganda’s state minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, blamed the protestors for “misrepresenting what is happening in the country.”

Oryem said that the government is working to ensure that the country grows economically, and is safe and secure.

According to Oryem, the government has been countering the protests by engaging the UK government and British MPs by telling them what is on the ground.

Oryem says that the UK and the US know Ugandans capacity and strategic role in the region.

The US provides significant development and security assistance to Uganda of over $970 million per year, while the UK government’s assistance is an estimated £150 million for last year.


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