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Kawempe South Parliamentary Candidates React to Internet Shutdown

Tenywa Edris an Independent Candidate noted that due to the internet shut down, he is finding a hard time coordinating his polling agents since they had set up a Whatsapp group to track the results.
Some of the Parliamentary Candidates in Kawempe South have expressed mixed reaction to the internet shutdown. On Wednesday, the government took a decision to shut down the internet a few hours to polling day, leaving many Ugandans grumbling and businesses destabilized.

Tenywa Edris an Independent Candidate noted that due to the internet shut down, he is finding a hard time coordinating his polling agents since they had set up a Whatsapp group to track the results.

“This has affected communication because earlier one would be able to communicate with the polling agents effectively when sited at home while monitoring everything online, send money to the agents through mobile money which is not the case this time,” Tenywa said.

He however noted that the move by the government will reduce on circulation of false the information which could lead to violence and loss of lives.

“Some of our people don’t know the value of life, you find people circulating false the information which may cause different reactions from the public and may cause to lose of lives and property since it may breed violence,” he added.

Nathan Gahungu the Ecological Party Parliamentary candidate requested the government to consider restoring internet connectivity as earlier as possible to save many Ugandans who are losing out on business.

“Closing internet is not something that is desirable given the fact that we use the internet for business, communication and for other crucial purposes but if the internet was closed to particularly safeguard peace, which is right. We however suggest that it should be opened as soon as possible,” Gahungu said.

Gahungu called upon his supporters to remember that there is life after elections and should not look at violence as a way of solving election grievances but consider running to court.

However, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary candidate, Solomon Mayanja noted that the decision was to shut down the internet is welcome since it will save many candidates from uncoordinated information that would be circulating on the different social media platforms.

“It’s good that it is closed because many candidates would be on the pressure right now because most candidates in the race are of age and nay misinformation through social media may cost them their lives; the shutdown helps them to calm down the pressure for the elderly in the race,” Mayanja said.

Mayanja disputed the notion that candidates can’t coordinate as well as communicating with their polling agents noting that since phone calls are not restricted.  

“The phone calls are not restricted, what is restricted is the internet, I keep calling my agents to know what is going on before we had no internet and voting would go on smoothly,” Mayanja added.