The government of Uganda has announced that free access to Facebook in Uganda is set to resume after nearly two years of suspension.
According to State minister for ICT and National Guidance Godfrey Kabyanga, negotiations with the service providers are in final stages.
“Facebook is to officially open under a month, but use it wisely. Do not abuse government,” he said.
He was speaking on the side lines of a function to mark World Press Freedom Day in Kampala on Tuesday, 03 May 2022.
According to Kabyanga, the government is aware of the role of social media in easing the work of journalists.
“We are, therefore, alive to the realisation that the digital age enables more and more people to become aware of corruption, maladministration, unethical behaviour by public officials and businesses, and serious human rights violations,” he said.
He said the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance will continue working with academia, civil society as well as recognised bodies such National Association of Broadcasters Uganda, Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU) and UJA , in continually advocating for a realization of Internationally acceptable minimum reporting standards,” he said.
He also said the government will also continue with its stance against torture and harassment of Journalists.
“We believe it to be primitive, barbaric and unnecessary. The right to receive and impart information is one we take seriously,” he said.
Accessing Facebook through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is now the only way one can access the platform in Uganda since early 2021.
Government blocked the social media giant in the country at the peak of the recently held general election in reaction to Facebook’s decision to take down a number of Ugandan government officials accounts.
Facebook said in its transparency report that they had removed Ugandan pro – Museveni accounts for using duplicate accounts ahead of the presidential elections.
According to the same report, the total number of the deleted accounts was 426. 210 pages, 62 groups and 153 Instagram accounts were also deleted in the same purge.