Entebbe, Uganda | URN | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s social media team is testing ‘a no reply’ feature on his official Twitter handle.
This is the first time that the President’s account which has been in existence for 10 years has closed a tweet from direct replies. Twitter introduced the option of restricting account access such as locking out comments, replies and likes in August 2020.
“Headed for the Monday Cabinet meeting and official engagements at State House Entebbe,” Mr Museveni tweeted on Monday at 1:04PM. The tweet has two photos as the president was being chauffeured in a Benz on Entebbe Expressway. But this tweet is locked for replies.
“Who can reply? People @KagutaMuseveni mentioned can reply” is the alert that shows up in the reply section.
Senior Presidential Advisor Don Wanyama said the function for replies “will be up soon.” He said they ( the social media team) are doing “some routine technical work.”
The president’s account that has 2.1 million followers usually generates high traffic in terms of comments from both his supporters and haters; supporters praising him and haters throwing ridicules and insults at the head of state.
The tweet that has been closed from replies for instance had generated 1,200 likes and 413 retweets when this reporter wrote the story at 5:00PM.
The president’s previous tweet sent on Saturday, March 27th about him taking a COVID-19 jab generated 3,400 likes, more than 1,000 comments and more than 800 retweets.
The tweet of March 22nd when Mr Museveni was at the Tanzania’s High Commission in Kampala signing condolence book of deceased Tanzania president John Pombe Magufuli attracted more than 1,400 comments and 3,500 likes.
The only option remaining for anyone to comment on the president’s tweet is through retweeting it with a comment referred to as Quote Tweet.
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The president’s ‘haters’ have leveraged this option to ridicule him. “Even regime apologists badly wanted to comment on this, but the dictator in @KagutaMuseveni,” tweeted Steve whose Twitter handle name is @SoberMuzukulu.
“Man is tired of Ugandans abusing him. He now limits his tweets to only viewing not commenting,” Roy Kigoya said.
“Simple, simple things can portray the dictatorship in you. Why did you restrict us from commenting,” Edgar Watson tweeted.This is not Watson, the Chief Executive Officer of Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA).
The president’s supporters equally seem surprised by the move but have kept positive replies flowing through quoted tweets. “I wanted to wish you a safe journey mu comments naye kilabika toyagala,” Nansubga Winnie said. “With such a beautiful infrastructure #WhyUgvotedM7,” Komuntale Lisa tweeted.