26 January 2021

Troops withdraw from home of Ugandan opposition challenger Bobi Wine

26 January 2021

Ugandan troops have withdrawn from opposition presidential challenger Bobi Wine’s home the day after a judge ruled that his house arrest was unlawful, his lawyer said.

But George Musisi told the Associated Press that security forces could still be seen in the village near Mr Wine’s property outside the capital Kampala.

“They have gone for now,” he said. “Of course (the candidate) hasn’t yet stepped outside the house. We don’t know what will happen.”

The popular singer-turned-opposition figure was meeting officials from his National Unity Platform party at his home on Tuesday, a holiday in Uganda that marks the day that rebels led by President Yoweri Museveni took power 35 years ago.

A police helicopter hovered over the area, according to local broadcaster NTV.

Uganda Bobi Wine (AP)

Mr Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has been unable to leave his home since the January 14 election. Authorities have said he can only leave his home under military escort because they fear his presence in public could incite rioting.

Police told reporters on Monday they would pull away from his residence but keep watching the area.

Mr Museveni was declared the winner of the election with 58% of the vote while Mr Wine had 34%. The opposition leader insists he won and has said he can prove that the military was stuffing ballot boxes, casting votes for people and chasing voters away from polling stations.

Mr Wine has accused Mr Museveni of staging a “coup” in the election and urged his supporters to protest through non-violent means.

But he has suggested he might not go to court to challenge the official results because of concerns a possible loss would validate Mr Museveni’s win.

Uganda’s election was marred by violence ahead of polling day as well as an internet shutdown that remained in force until four days after the vote. Social media sites remain restricted.

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