Facebook says it closed Facebook accounts employed by Ugandan officials suspected of manipulating opinion within the runup to Thursday's Voting. 

Facebook has shut down a slew of accounts belonging to Ugandan officials accused of seeking to regulate debate before elections Thursday, the online giant told AFP on Monday. 

The East African nation is holding presidential and parliamentary elections after a tense and bloody campaign, with incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, 76, facing a stiff challenge from the popstar-turned-politician Bobi Wine, 38. 

"This month, we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour) to specialise in debate before the election," Facebook's head of communication for Sub-Saharan Africa , Kezia Anim-Addo, said in an email.

 "They used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, discuss other people's content, impersonate users, re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular that they were." 

Anim-Addo said the network was linked to the govt. ministry of knowledge and technology . "Given the approaching election in Uganda, we rushed to research and take down this network." 

Museveni's senior press secretary Don Wanyama, who saw both his Facebook and Instagram account close up , accused the company of seeking to influence the election. 

(Reported by James Kagome-Tanzania)