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Ugandans ‘shocked’ Kenya yet to shut internet on election eve

Ugandans have expressed ‘shock’ that the Kenya government is yet to disconnect the internet and social media, a day before the August 9, 2022, general elections.

Led by celebrated TV journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala, the Ugandans have been expressing their opinion on social media.

“This is shocking,” he wrote on Twitter, perhaps with a touch of cheekiness.

Another Ugandan also observed that the election had been generally peaceful, with no incidents of violence or police intimidation reported.

The peaceful election so far sharply contrasts with the scenes witnessed during the general elections in Uganda in January 2021 when President Yoweri Museveni defeated opposition stalwart Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine to extend his three and-a-half decade stay in power.

Ugandans woke up to the shock realization that the internet had been blocked and none of them could access social media. The government attributed the stance as a ‘security and safety’ measure.

The internet was restored five days later when the election results had been announced.

Besides, elections in Uganda have been characterized by mass and brutal arrests of leading opposition politicians including Kizza Besigye and Bobi Wine, who, incidentally, are both in Nairobi to observe the elections.

In Kenya, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) suggested it would block  Facebook during the election over what it termed the increase in hate speech utterances.

The suggestion was overruled by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who explained that Kenya is a ‘mature’ democracy and the government does not intend to limit the freedom of expression.