Facebook has shutdown dozens of accounts aligned to Uganda’s ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The tech giant accused the accounts of seeking to manipulate public debate ahead of Thursday’s general elections.

“This month, we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour) to target public debate ahead of the election,” Facebook’s head of communication for sub-Saharan Africa, Kezia Anim-Addo, told news agency AFP.

An aide to President Yoweri Museveni accused Facebook and Twitter of being opponents of NRM.

“They should “unfreeze” accounts they froze yesterday & today,” Don Wanyama tweeted on Sunday.

He urged the Uganda Communications Commission “to act to ensure a fair digital playfield.”

“Shame on the foreign forces that think they can aid and plant a puppet leadership on Uganda by disabling online accounts of NRM supporters. You won’t take away President Kaguta Museveni,” Mr Wanyama was quoted as saying by the Daily Monitor news site. 

Ashburg Kato, a famous blogger for the ruling party, accused opposition politician and presidential candidate Bobi Wine and his aides of being behind the shutdown.

“Facebook itself deleted our accounts on the request of Bobi Wine’s handlers,” Kato tweeted.

Bobi Wine has not commented on the allegations.