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KIU General News: Ugandan Social Media Ban Ends After 28 Days


By Rogers Wanambwa

KIU, Main Campus - State Minister for ICT, Hon Peter Ogwang, on Wednesday 10th February, declared that Internet and Social Media Services have been fully restored. 

This comes after a 28-day ban whereby many Ugandans were forced to use Virtual Private Networks (aka VPNs) for most of that period. 

The government, through the communications sector regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), had blocked the Internet citing security concerns in the country. 

The ban, although not the first, is the longest in Uganda's history. 

Curiously, the President, half of the Cabinet, and many government entities have been using the social media space despite the ban. 

Besides, before the ban, on January 7, Facebook shut several accounts belonging to Ugandan government officials accused of seeking to manipulate public debate ahead of elections.

“This month, we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour) to target public debate ahead of the election,” Facebook’s Head of Communication for Sub-Saharan Africa, Kezia Anim-Addo, said in an email.

The ban has been affecting many who do their work and studying online. Two things that have seen an unprecedented increase over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, not to limited travel even after the lockdowns were ended.