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ICT Minister Baryomunsi: Govt to maintain Facebook ban indefinitely

The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi

The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi (PHOTO /Courtesy)

Government will maintain its shutdown of giant social media platform Facebook until the authorities reach a truce with company but also deem they’re safe from being used to inflame tensions in Uganda.

Chris Baryomunsi who is the Minister of Information Communication and Technology and National Guidance told the state owned New Vision that the government is still in talks with the owners of Facebook over the matter.

“Engagements are going on between government and Facebook. Until we agree on the basics, the social media platform will remain closed,” he was quoted as saying.

Just like President Museveni, Baryomunsi claims Facebook went partisan at the height of the campaigns last year which was very unprofessional and dangerous.

“Facebook is a privately owned platform which at the height of the campaigns last year and this year went partisan. They started accusing the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party of all sorts of things, cut off addresses of a number of NRM leaders and members including our ministry,” he noted.

“That’s when we said, we are not dying to have Facebook and we also cut it off,” he added.

Baryomunsi said they want to know why a platform like Facebook would be partisan.

“Why are they used by politicians whether from the NRM or Opposition? It should be a neutral platform of communication for all people to express their views without taking sides,” he noted.

President Museveni blocked Facebook from operating in country, just days after the social media company removed fake accounts linked to his government ahead of a hotly contested general election in which he was contraversially declared the winner.

Museveni accused Facebook of “arrogance” before instructing communications sector regulator UCC to close the platform.

“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,” Mr. Museveni said. “We cannot tolerate this arrogance of anybody coming to decide for us who is good and who is bad,” he added.

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