President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni has told ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) social media bloggers whose accounts were blocked to focus on income generating ventures.
Museveni met NRM bloggers at State House Entebbe at the weekend.
Deputy head of Government Citizen Interaction Center (GCIC) Duncan Abigaba led the bloggers.
Abigaba’s Facebook account was among hundreds Facebook blocked ahead of January 14 elections.
Then, Facebook’s head of communication for sub-Saharan Africa Kezia Anim-Addo confirmed the tech giant had “removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in CIB [Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior] to target public debate ahead of the election.”
Museveni has insisted he will not allow Facebook to officially operate in Uganda until it has reinstated the accounts and offered an apology.
In the meeting, Abigaba broached the issue.
“Your Excellency, many of us, including myself, are unable to access our Facebook accounts, not that l am devastated but I take it as a badge of honour for fighting negative propaganda against this government,” said Abigaba.
“Your Excellency, some countries have already done this. We request that you appoint someone to cater for digital diplomacy for our country.”
In response, Museveni reminded the youthful social media campaigners Facebook is not God.
“Ever since Facebook closed your accounts and pages have you heard of any shortage of sugar in town? Don’t you have clothes? Facebook will talk, but we shall move, they are not God,” the president asked.
“We see how they are biased when they deleted our people’s accounts basing on their discriminating standards. You cannot say these were doing wrong, what about the other group that have been spreading all forms of wrong information and inciting our people?
But what I heard is that God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient and I have never heard that Facebook fits in the same category.”