Following accusation of possible manipulation of public debate ahead of elections, a number of Ugandan government officials and ruling party members have had their Facebook accounts shut down.
The East African nation will cast their votes on Thursday, January 14, to elect a new president and parliament amid a tense and bloody electoral campaign, with incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, 76, facing a stiff challenge from singer -turned-politician, Bobi Wine, 38.
“Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network,” Facebook said in a statement on Monday, adding the decision was linked to the government ministry of information and communications technology.
“They used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular than they were,” it added.
Judith Nabakooba, Uganda’s minister of information, told Reuters news agency she needed more time to study the situation before commenting.
Museveni’s senior press secretary Don Wanyama, who saw both his Facebook and Instagram accounts shut down, accused the company of seeking to influence the election.