Government in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has blocked access to the internet and SMS services for the second day as vote counting progresses after the much awaited Presidential election on Sunday.
People in Congo could not access internet on Monday, a day after the polls as well as on Tuesday. Government says the decision to block the internet connections and SMS services across the country was to avert possible violence.
Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi, a senior adviser to President Joseph Kabila, said internet and SMS services were cut to preserve public order after “fictitious results” began circulating on social media.
Kikaya said such fake results were likely to spark chaos.
“That could lead us straight toward chaos,” Kikaya said.
According to Kikaya, the access will be blocked until the publication of complete results on Jan. 6.
The shutdown was reported in the capital Kinshasa, as well as eastern cities of Goma and Lubumbashi, which are considered as opposition strongholds.
AFP reported that internet provider Global said in text messages to customers that the government had ordered the shut down.
On Sunday, Congolese nationals took to polls to vote the next President that will succeed Joseph Kabila who has ruled Africa’s biggest country for 17 years.
Congo has never seen a democratic transfer of power. Presidential elections in 2006 and 2011 which maintained Kabila in power were marred by violence.
Two main opposition candidates; Felix Tshisekedi and Martin Fayulu faced off with the candidate of the ruling party, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.
While the government has described the elections as fair, the opposition including Fayulu says the election was marred by fraud.
Kabila took over power in 2001 after his father, Laurent Kabila was assassinated by his bodyguard.
He was supposed to step down two years ago, but the election was postponed after the electoral commission said it needed more time to register voters.