The Presidential candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in Uganda’s forthcoming election, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, has accused the ruling party of planning to rig the elections.
Uganda holds its presidential and parliamentary elections on January 14, 2021. Bobi Wine has emerged the main challenger to President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power for over 30 years.
On Tuesday, Wine – whose house was raided by the military during a live radio interview – warned voters to guard their votes to prevent fraud.
“President Yoweri Museveni is known for vote rigging, so be careful and guard your votes,’’ Wine said at a joint press conference with other opposition leaders in the capital, Kampala.
Wine, 38, who has the support of Uganda’s youth, together with nine other candidates, faces off against Museveni, 76, on Thursday.
But the singer turned politician is said to be the only one to have a real chance of winning against Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-ruling heads of state, who has been in power since 1996 and changed Uganda’s constitution to enable himself to run for yet another five-year term.
“After voting, stay behind to guard the votes, Use phones to document the process, because we understand that Museveni plans to cut off the internet so that he can rig,’’ Wine said.
Wine also warned that electoral fraud “will turn into a recipe for violence.’’
“The people of Uganda are not going to accept any illegality,’’ he added.
The run-up to the election has already been overshadowed by violence occurring on an almost daily basis, with government security forces dispersing rallies, mostly by the opposition, using tear gas and live bullets.
Uganda Election: Bobi Wine Files Arbitrary Detention Complaint
The Presidential candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in the Uganda election, Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine, has filed an arbitrary detention complaint to the United Nations (UN).
The Ugandan military has since Friday surrounded Bobi Wine’s house, a day after Uganda conducted presidential elections, barring him from going out or receiving visitors.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Bobi Wine, said: “Nigerian human rights lawyer Femi Falana has filed this complaint on my behalf to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Arrest.
“We are challenging my continued illegal confinement by the Ugandan police and the military.”
Long-time president Museveni, 76, was re-elected with almost 59 per cent of the vote, followed by 38-year-old Wine, with roughly 35 per cent.
Wine says he will legally contest the result of the presidential election, alleging “widespread fraud” during the Jan. 14 poll, which was seen as Uganda’s first election in which there was a real threat to Museveni’s rule.
Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, has retained power for 35 years.
He had changed Uganda’s constitution to enable himself to run for yet another five-year term.
The election had been overshadowed by violence since campaigning began, with almost daily violence being reported.
The internet was shut down across the country shortly before the start of voting.
It has since returned, although social media remains unavailable.
Ugandans Go to the Polls; This Time to Vote for Mayors
The Ugandan electorate on Wednesday returned to polling stations to elect city mayors and district chairpersons.
According to Electoral Commission (EC) road map, Wednesday’s elections of District Local Government Councils shall include elections for District/City Chairpersons, Lord Mayor, Mayors, and Councillors at local government level.
The poll is holding about a week after presidential and parliamentary polls were held. However, local media say voter turnout are low in the local government council elections compared to last week’s elections.
Analysts say the low turnout was expected as some voters were unhappy with how the general elections were conducted.
Popular musician Jose Chameleon, real name Joseph Mayanja, is contesting to be mayor of the capital, Kampala. His rivals include Nabilah Naggayi, Dan Kazibwe, Godfrey Nyakana and incumbent Erias Lukwago.
Under the Local Government Act, District chairpersons are among others, mandated to preside over meetings of the executive committees of the districts, monitor the general administration of the districts and implementation of council decisions.
Meanwhile, the results of the presidential election continued to generate tensions locally and internationally. A Nigerian senior advocate and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), on Tuesday dragged President Yoweri Museveni to the United Nations over the illegal house arrest of his main challenger, Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine, 38, has not been seen outside of his home since the Presidential election held last Thursday.
On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie E. Brown, who went to Wine’s resident to check on his health and safety, because he has “effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence,” was turned back by the army, a Facebook post said.
Uganda Election: Nigerian Lawyer, Falana, Takes Museveni Complaints to the UN
Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has filed a complaint at the United Nations against President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda over the illegal detention of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine, a former reggae musician, had been under house arrest since Thursday night.
News Central reports that 38-year-old Bobi Wine was Museveni’s main challenger in the 14 January 2021 Presidential election.
Contesting as a presidential candidate under the umbrella of the National Union Platform (NUP), Bobi Wine had emerged second best after polling 38 per cent of the votes.
Museveni was declared winner after claiming 58 per cent of votes cast.
However, Ugandan forces had condoned off Wine’s house since last Thursday, effectively keeping him and his wife under house arrest and incommunicado.
On Tuesday, the United States Government announced that the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown, had been barred from seeing Bobi Wine
In a statement same day, Falana said that Bobi Wine had been denied access to his lawyers in a bid to prevent him from filing a petition against the declaration of Museveni as the winner of the highly flawed Presidential election.
“We have submitted a complaint against the government of Uganda to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concerning the detention of the detained couple,” Falana said.
The complaint by Falana, which was attached to the statement, read in part, “Mr. Wine and his wife are being illegally detained for days without any criminal charges preferred against him. He has also been denied adequate supply of food by hundreds of Uganda military forces and policemen who have laid siege to his house for the umpteenth time since the election day.
“I am therefore seeking an opinion from the Working Group finding the house arrest and continuing detention of Mr. Wine and his wife to be arbitrary and in violation of Uganda’s Constitution of 1995 (as amended) and obligations under international human rights law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Uganda is a state party.”
Also, a top U.S. diplomat to Africa, Tibor Nagy, called Uganda’s electoral process “fundamentally flawed,” citing “authorities’ denial of accreditation to election observers, violence and harassment of opposition figures” and the arrest of civil service organization workers.
“We continue to urge restraint and rejection of violence by all actors as Uganda’s election results are announced,” said Nagy in a series of tweets,.
“The immediate and full restoration of Internet connectivity is essential. The U.S. response hinges on what the Ugandan government does now.”
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