A quick test sending sms messages with the banned words revealed that indeed some of the messages were blocked. Or they just did not go through as is sometimes the case in Uganda.
According to an an internal email , SMS messages with words like “dictator”, “egypt”, “mubarak”, “police”, “bullet”, “Ben Ali” and “people power” will be blocked.
We sent an SMS from an Orange line to an Airtel number and an MTN number with this text: “Favourite movies: The Great Dictator, Police Academy and Bullet with Steve McQueen”. The message did not go through.
Two days ago the Ugandan Communication Commission asked bulk SMS service providers to prevent their systems from being abused during the election period.
In an article in the Daily monitor, John Njoroge wrote:
Recently, an SMS text message drawing parallels between the mass uprisings, which ultimately led to the toppling of the dictatorial regimes in Tunisia and Egypt to Uganda’s own situation, has been circulating, causing a stir in certain circles.
Authorities are nervous that mobile services could be used to mobilize unrest during or after today’s polls.
by Ole Tangen Jr.