“The only sad thing … is that we are missing the communication because some lines have been cut off. We don’t have internet so we are lacking communication,” she said. “Outside Kampala, we don’t know what is going on.”
What was going on, according to Wine and other opposition figures, was the election being stolen.
“That social channel you are talking about, if it is going to operate in Uganda, it should be used equitably by everybody who has to use it,” he said. “If you want to take sides against the NRM, then (you) cannot operate in Uganda … We cannot tolerate this arrogance of anybody coming to decide for us who is good and who is bad.”
Thanks to Museveni’s control over traditional media in the country, Wine has relied on online platforms to get his message out, so the ban on Facebook and Twitter affected him far more than the President or NRM candidates.
“After a brutal, months-long crackdown on the media, Uganda’s internet disruption is the latest attempt to keep the country’s citizens in the dark … and to prevent journalists from reporting on events surrounding the vote,” Muthoki Mumo, a regional representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement. “Ugandan authorities should reverse course and take steps to ensure unrestricted internet access and guarantee that the public is adequately informed during the post-election period.”
Museveni, 76, has outlasted many other onetime African revolutionary leaders, showing an ability to stay in power that exceeds even former stalwarts like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
As the former revolutionary begins his sixth term in office, other wannabe authoritarian leaders, facing their own online dissenters, will be taking note.