President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has hinted he may keep the blockade on the social media site Facebook for longer arguing that Ugandans can afford to do away with it.
The president said this while meeting a group of NRM youths who campaigned for him in the just concluded elections.
Museveni said the youths shouldn’t get worried over the blockage given the fact that it’s not part of their basic necessities of life.
The youths were pleading with Museveni to find a diplomatic solution to the impasse.
They were led by the Deputy Director of the Government Citizens Interaction Centre (GCIC) Duncan Abigaba and Mathew Bagonza, who cried out to him to resolve the impasse.
“Your Excellency, many of us including myself are unable to access our Facebook accounts, not that I am devastated, in fact I take it like a badge of honour for fighting negative propaganda against this government,” Abigaba said.
Abigaba further appealed to the president to consider appointing an experienced individual to cater for digital diplomacy of the country
“Some countries have already done this, we need someone who will handle digital diplomacy on our behalf,” he said.
In response, Museveni asked them whether their lives were adversely affected.
“Ever since Facebook went, have you heard of any shortage of sugar in town? Do you not have clothes! Facebook will talk but we shall move,” he said.
“They are not God. Recently, I heard people who came here for the first time…they were from USA. When they reached, they asked me, where is war? I answered which war? They told me that they had seen on Facebook that there is war in Uganda. Therefore, for such things, Facebook will fail,” the president added.
The president however continued to accuse Facebook of acting with bias to the ruling NRM.
“They deleted our people’s accounts under guise, but we can see the bias and the discrimination standards they used.
“You cannot say that these were doing wrong but what about the other group that have been spreading all forms of wrong information and inciting our people,” he said.
Towards the January 14 general elections, Facebook blocked several accounts belonging to Government officials and pro- Museveni individual accounts where Facebook accused the accounts of engagement in Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour (CIB) to influence elections.