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    Switch Them Off! UCC Directs MTN To Block Access To Social Media & Internet Messaging Platforms

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    The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has ordered MTN telecom to restrict its users from accessing or using all social media platforms and online messaging until further notice, a directive MTN has since  complied with.

    Rhona Arinaitwe, the Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, confirmed the development and issued an official statement about the matter.

    Arinaitwe’s letter reads in part; “MTN Uganda informs its esteemed customers and other stakeholders that National Telecommunication Operators in the country, have received a directive from Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to immediately suspend access and use, direct or otherwise of all social media platforms and online messaging applications over the network until further notice.”

    MTN Uganda has, in compliance with its National Telecommunications Operator License and in accordance with MTN’s group-wide Digital Human Rights due diligence framework implemented the directive.

    MTN Uganda has announced that it will nevertheless continue engaging with the relevant stakeholders to limit the scope and duration of the service disruption.

    As most people read the statement but were still confused about exactly what it meant, Arinaitwe explained that the directive implies that a user cannot access social media and internet messaging platforms.

    However, purchase of data on the platform is not in any way affected. The MTN Uganda PR manager however clarified that all the other internet services are available except for the above mentioned.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    ‘I’m Going To Court Because The Election Was Rigged’- NUP’s Bobi Wine Announces Plan B As U.S Condemns Army Violence…

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    By Our Reporter

     

    Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, the leader of National Unity Platform (NUP), has declared that he will go to court to challenge president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s victory in the January 14th presidential election.

    Speaking to the press on phone Bobi Wine, who has been under house arrest since Friday January 15th, 2021, said that he is ready to drag the Electoral Commission (EC) and Museveni to court  challenging the latter’s victory.

    According to election results announced by the E.C chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama on Saturday January 16, 2021,  president elect Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, of the National Resistance Movement  scored 5,300,831 votes (58%)  whereas his nemesis Bobi Wine polled ,119,965 votes (34.62%).

    They contested together with other candidates that include Alliance for National Transform (NUP)’s Mugisha Muntu Gregory, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s Patrick Amuriat Oboi,  Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao, plus independents who included Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Nancy Kalembe, John Katumba, Willy Mayambala, Joseph Kabuleta and Fred Mwesigye.

    However, Bobi Wine insists that these are sham results, because they differ greatly from those compiled by NUP polling agents across the  country which indicate that he won president Yoweri Museveni by far.

    “I therefore take this painful but nonetheless inevitable leadership decision of urging you to desist from any form of violence as we prepare to challenge the election outcome & its glaring imperfections through the courts of law for the sake of our longterm victory & for Uganda.

    “We are going to audit because on account of the removal of the internet there was no immediate transmission of the voting patterns from polling stations,” Bobi Wine’s deputy Mathias Mpuuga said on Sunday during a press briefing at the NUP headquarters in Kamwokya, Kampala.

    In support of Bobi Wine’s position, his fellow presidential contender Rtd. Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has since joined him in rejecting the election results and vowed to combine forces in challenging Museveni’s victory in court.

    “It’s time to turn the page and engage in the next stage of the struggle. We will not live like serfs in our own country,” Mugisha Muntu said on Twitter shortly after the announcement was made.

    “These results are completely fabricated,” he added.

    Prior to the election last week  the government ordered telecommunication companies to shut down the internet on the eve of the polls, and the blackout remained in place till Monday when internet was switched back on.

    In Kampala, shortly before the results were announced, security forces poured onto the streets of the capital in large numbers, while others raided and sealed off Bobi Wine’s home to  block anyone from leaving or accessing the residence.

     

    U.S Condemns Army, Police Brutality

    Meanwhile, the United States of America has condemned the police and army brutality  meted out unto Bobi Wine and his supporters, saying it is “deeply troubled” by events in Uganda, noting that voters cast their ballots in an environment of “intimidation and fear”.

    “We are deeply troubled by the many credible reports of security force violence during the pre-election period and election irregularities during the polls,” Morgan Ortagus, the State Department’s spokesperson, said in a statement late on Saturday.

    “We strongly urge independent, credible, impartial, and thorough investigations into these reports and that those responsible be held accountable.

    “We condemn the continuing attacks on political candidates and urge the government to respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression,” Ortagus added.

    It should be noted too that both the U.S. and Britain expressed concern over the validity of the election results, noting the internet blackout throughout Uganda since before the Election Day.

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    ‘You Must Pay For Your Sins’ Tycoon Balaam Insists Pastor Mondo’s Shs5Bn Fraud Court Case To Proceed Even If He Meets  President Museveni

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    President Yoweri Museveni’s chief mobilizer, also prominent events promoter cum city businessman Balaam Barugahara has revealed that controversial city pastor Franklin Mondo Mugisha’s case in which he, together with others at large, allegedly fleeced over Shs5Bn from unsuspecting Ugandans will proceed even if he meets the president.

    Exclusively speaking to the Grapevine on Wednesday January 13th, 2021, Balaam insisted that the recent meeting between Museveni, Makerere Kikoni based House of Prayer Ministries International pastor Aloysius Bugingo, Nansana’s World Ministries church pastor Wilson Bugembe, Evangelical Truth Ministries (ETM)’s Brother Ronnie Makabai and others a few days ago was not about discussing Mondo’s case, because he has to pay for his sins should he be found guilty.

    “The meeting was not about Court cases. If you commit your cases, face the law but don’t drag the President into your court matters. It should be the Court to determine Pastor Mondo’s fate,” Balaam, who was replying to questions about Mondo’s fate and word that he want to reach out to president Msueveni to intervene in his case, said.

    Mondo is facing a five billion fraud case in the Anti-Corruption together with singer Maggie Kayima, pastor Siraje Ssemanda of Bombo Revival Church and singer Catherine Kusasira.

    Prosecution alleges that the said suspects together with others at large fraudulently obtained the said money from fellow religious leaders  and unsuspecting Ugandans after they purported to be operating on behalf  of President Museveni, First Lady Janet  Kataha Museveni and Gen. Salim Saleh, whose names they used to hoodwink their victims that they would secure them government contracts and jobs, until they were busted by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

    Balaam added that he accepted to mobilize support for President Museveni so that he could win tomorrow’s presidential elections and urged all Christians to mobilize for his support in their respective churches.

    He insisted that it’s not illegal for religious leaders to mobilize support for Museveni because he has seen a lot of Catholic priests, especially those from Masaka district, mobilizing support for National Unity platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine and nothing has been done to them.

    He however refuted claims that pastors were given bags of money to facilitate their mobilization efforts for president Museveni.

    “All those men are very rich, they are driving very powerful vehicles, for how much can they be bought,” Balaam asked.

     

     

    By Arilabaki Sengooba

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    Ready For Action: Security Takes Over All Kampala City Buildings Rooftops To Police Electoral Process…

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    The Uganda Police Force have revealed that state security agencies have taken over and will dominate all the roof tops of arcades and other raised buildings within Kampala Metropolitan policing area during and after the electoral process in a bid to thwart any possible violence.

    Superintendent of Police SP Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) publicist, disclosed that the development is an extensive security measure towards the country’s peaceful general election.

    Onyango revealed that in the recent violent riots that occurred in November 2020, in and around Kampala, police intelligence and CCTV footage analyses have shown that the people who were commanding the rioters were operating from rooftops of arcades, where they would base to give instructions to their people.

    He said that; “They used the roof tops as observation posts to monitor movements of security personnel.”

    The Police spokesperson also recalled how just a fortnight ago, security personnel who were on a routine patrol were pelted with stones that were being thrown from  the roof top of Nabukera Auto Parts  arcade.

    “On 11/1/2021, around 18:30hrs at Kiseka, Kyaggwe Road, security personnel who were on foot patrol were being pelted with stones. On checking they saw a man on the roof top of one of the arcades aiming at them with a bow and arrow. In self-defense they shot him and he was injured, but later died at Mulago Hospital. He was identified as Mukiibi Elijah. The exhibits of bow and arrows were recovered and exhibited at CPS Kampala,” Onyango revealed.

    Following the above incidents, security agencies today held a meeting with the business community and arcade owners to devise solutions on how to protect the buildings, business premises, traders, customers and security personnel.

    The meeting was held at CPS Kampala Boardroom and was chaired by the Commandant KMP, CP Moses Kafeero. It was also attended by the Commandant Military Police, Col. Keith Katungi and other senior security personnel.

    The meeting resolved that security agencies should immediately take over and dominate all the roof tops of arcades and other raised buildings within Kampala Metropolitan Area, and have access control to the roof tops, whereby only personnel in uniform will be allowed the same.

    A resolution was also reached upon that there will be regulation of hawkers not to access the arcades, and that for smooth flow of business, both the business community and security pledged to work together for the development of the country.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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