Uganda Seeks to Block YouTube Accounts Linked to Pop Star

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Uganda asked Google to block at least 14 YouTube accounts linked to the country’s main challenger in next month’s elections for “sensationalist” broadcasts.

Holders of these accounts are operating illegally and should be suspended until they obtain licenses and adhere to broadcasting standards, Abudu Sallam Waiswa, the head of legal affairs at the Uganda Communications Commission, said by phone Tuesday.

The regulator is seeking to enforce the law and it’s just “a coincidence” that the affected accounts are linked to pop star Bobi Wine, Waiswa said. Authorities have blamed the broadcasts for inciting deadly protests last month sparked by the arrest of Wine for allegedly breaching Covid-related restrictions by holding mass rallies.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has repeatedly criticized long-time President Yoweri Museveni for failing to tackle corruption and unemployment, and the government’s human rights record. He has been arrested several times in the last two years on various charges including treason.

Museveni, 76, who took power after a five-year guerrilla war, became eligible to seek re-election after lawmakers, most of whom are his supporters, abolished the upper age limit of 75 for a presidential candidate.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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