National Electoral Commission has announced that it has never prevented or stopped candidates for presidential elections from carrying out campaign using social media.
This is announced after diplomats from around the world representing their countries in Rwanda have disagreed with any surveillance that might be applied on message by candidates who wish to disseminate it via social media with the aim of electoral campaign.
US Ambassador to Rwanda ,Barks-Ruggles said: “ We are all worried by recent news. I think it important to understand what is behind it which is strong restriction to the freedom of announcing one’s ideas and opinion,”.
Louise Mushikiwabo, the minister for foreign affairs and spokesperson of government to Rwanda said via twitter : “ I respect electoral commission but I do not agree with opinion that Rwandans should request permission to the message on social media during elections”.
The executive secretary of NEC Charles Munyaneza said the message it had delivered might have been misunderstood.
“ It may be our message that was misunderstood about guidelines and regulations of how candidates or their representatives can use social media. In fact there is no target to close those social media as people have had understood before,”.
He emphasized that closing the social media is not their responsibility saying however that there are ways of monitoring how candidates carry out their campaigns.
“ We are also looking at our gudelines , how they were before concerning the use of social media during the forthcoming elections so that if some of them are written in wrong way or those that are not understandable become more understandable,” he explained.
The social media ,officials say, are in the guidelines and regulations set up in order to facilitate candidates to reach as many Rwandans as possible which is the reason why they are allowed to use social media.
The concerns that the commission might have , they say, they are ordinary as they are not only based on social media use but also other means usually making it reason to monitor what could affect security and peace of Rwandans.
“ They are allowed to use them. But message was misunderstood .we are not in charge of closing social media. What we do is monitoring candidates are fulfilling guidelines governing electoral campaigns because there is even law about how social media is used,” he added.