Uganda cuts off internet hours before election polls open

A news report has shown that authorities in Uganda have, in an unprecedented move, shut down the internet only a few hours prior to the presidential and parliamentary elections slated for 14 January 2021. A letter from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), indicated that the internet blackout will be in force from ‘13 January 2021 and continue  until otherwise directed’. According to the report, the decision to shut down the internet was reached after a last-minute security meeting. Authorities have justified the action with an explanation that social media poses a threat to a peaceful election because it offers a platform for misinformation and the spread of fake news. Activists and the opposition have however condemned the act and have accused the government of trying to keep the world in the dark regarding the happenings in Uganda, which includes intimidating and harassing the opposition and curtailing freedom of expression and freedom of the press.