Hundreds of Ugandan security forces have been surrounding the house of opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine in Kampala for a week. You besiege the politician without having a legal basis for doing so.
Nobody will be admitted to his property, said the 38-year-old pop star on Twitter. His wife, Barbara, and their 18-month-old niece, who happened to be in his house at the time of the cordoning off, now have no milk or other food. Even the girl’s father is denied access to the house.
At a court hearing in Kampala on Thursday, prosecutor Martin Mwabusya denied that the opposition politician was in custody. The security forces would rather give him “the necessary protection”. In contrast, a police spokesman spoke of a “preventive arrest”.
According to the electoral commission, the candidate who lost 34 percent of the vote last week at the polls allegedly planned to “disrupt public order,” said the spokesman.
Bobi Wine accused President Yoweri Museveni, who was declared the winner for his fifth reelection, of having massively manipulated the vote. There is evidence of this that he will present to the court. Under Ugandan law, objections to the vote must be filed with the Supreme Court within ten days of the announcement of the election result.
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Gross violation of his rights
This deadline ends next Tuesday. Bobi Wines “Platform of National Unity” (NUP) accuses the government of wanting to prevent the objection by appointing its party leader. Uganda’s government had already acted similarly in the elections four years ago. At that time, opposition candidate Kizza Besigye was arrested immediately after the vote.
The human rights organization Amnesty International demanded the immediate release of Bobi Wine. Its determination is politically motivated and a blatant violation of his rights. “It is not a crime to run for president or to contest the election,” said Deprose Muchena, the organization’s regional director for East and Southern Africa. On behalf of Bobi Wines, the Nigerian human rights lawyer Femi Falana has since filed a formal complaint with the Geneva Working Group of the United Nations on Arbitrary Arrests.
The four-day blackout of the Internet, which the government ordered shortly before the elections, has now been lifted. However, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Instagram are still switched off.
Facebook, in particular, drew the government’s anger when, shortly before the elections, it blocked several government-related accounts that were alleged to be guilty of illegitimate practices. It could not be acceptable that “people come to our country and act as judges of good and evil,” criticized Museveni at the time.
More than 50 opposition supporters killed
Representatives of the EU and the US have meanwhile called for an investigation into the incidents during the election campaign in which security forces had killed more than 50 opposition supporters. However, the two largest western political actors shied away from not recognizing the controversial result of the obviously unfair ballot box.
The US ambassador to Uganda was also prevented on Monday from visiting Bobi Wine in his enclosed property. Natalie Brown had openly tried to “interfere in the internal affairs of Uganda in order to undermine our elections and the will of the people”, said a government spokesman for the prevention of the visit.