In the 21st century, with the rapid rise of new media, the whole world has turned to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others that spring up by day. Society finds life easier as these platforms can help people communicate, relate, market and connect across the globe. And, unlike the ancient mail times, a single post on Facebook in Uganda can be shared all over the world in just 30 minutes. That is just how powerful a tool the Social Media is.
Social media is supported by use of internet and according to a report by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), 32.1% of the country’s 35 million people use internet. Of the platforms, Facebook is the most commonly used by Ugandans, with around 1.8 million users by November 2015. Twitter comes in second with about 250,000 users.
Of interest to note however, there has been vigorous activity on both Facebook and Twitter as the country heads to polls next month, with political parties seemingly becoming active out of the blue.
And basing on these particular two platforms, Eagleonline looks at the ‘social media share’ of the main political parties in the country.
National Resistance Movement (NRM)
The ruling party led by Yoweri Museveni carries the biggest portion of social media followers, with around 48,300 Facebook followers and 11,400 twitter followers.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)
Led by Maj Gen (rtd) John Greg Mugisha Muntu, this is the second biggest party in the country and has 37,400 Ugandans following it on Facebook and 6,700 Twitter followers.
Democratic Party (DP)
Led by Norbert Mao, the DP is the oldest political party in the country but it has a paltry 1,600 followers on Facebook and zero presence anywhere on Twitter.
Conservative Party (CP)
Led by John Ken Lukyamuzi, the CP has a total of 1,400 Facebook followers with no presence on Twitter.
This is a pressure group formed by former Ugandan premier John Patrick Amama Mbabazi after he cut relations with the NRM party. The Go Forward political organisation has neither a Facebook account nor Twitter handle but its presence on social media is seen by the individual participation of its leader Amama Mbabazi and Communications Director Ms Josephine Mayanja Nkangi. It also possesses various Facebook groups that have between 300 and 1000 members.
Peoples Progressive Party (PPP)
This has about 332 followers on its Facebook page with no Twitter presence.
The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), JEEMA and other political parties seemingly lack a presence on social media.