Uganda: High court ends Bobi Wine`s house arrest

DM168 Reflection It’s time for young Africans to bring about change

By Sibusiso Ngalwa• 23 January 2021

DM168 Reflection It’s time for young Africans to bring about change By Sibusiso Ngalwa• 23 January 2021

He had not left his house in the outskirts of the capital Kampala since voting in the presidential election earlier this month, in which he was declared runner-up to President Yoweri Museveni.

A Ugandan judge has ruled that security forces can not detain presidential challenger Bobi Wine inside his home, rebuking authorities for holding the candidate under house arrest following a disputed election.

Mr. Wine's associates welcomed the courtroom victory, but it remains to be seen whether authorities will respect the judge's order in this East African country where similar orders have been ignored in many cases.

President Yoweri Museveni was declared victor of the elections for a record sixth term by the country's electoral commission, amid fraud and rigging allegations.

The High Court has issued an order directing police and the army to vacate the home of former presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, in Magere.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said he had no immediate comment as the ruling had not been received.

Heavily armed soldiers and police officers surrounding the property have blocked members of Wine's household, including his wife, Barbie, from leaving their compound.

During the campaigning security forces routinely broke up the 38-year-old pop star-turned-politician's rallies with teargas, bullets, beatings and detentions.

But backers have become frustrated by his reluctance to cede power.

"We want Museveni out of office in less than a year", Wine said, without elaborating.

The EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama declared Mr Museveni, 76, victor of the disputed poll with nearly 59 percent while the outgoing Kyadondo East MP garnered nearly 35 percent.

The government denies any irregularities.

Pressure has been mounting on the government, including from the United States and rights group Amnesty International which called Wine's incarceration arbitrary and politically motivated. Museveni casts Wine as a foreign puppet and troublemaker, and insists he is the sole guarantor of political stability and economic progress in Uganda.

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