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Thread: 37 people reported killed in Uganda's election Protest, Bobi Wine (Presidential candidate) detained for the protests

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    37 people reported killed in Uganda's election Protest, Bobi Wine (Presidential candidate) detained for the protests


    Yes Uganda is going to have an election in 2021 and the supporters of Bobi Wine accuse the incumbent president Yoweri Museveni for corruption, abuse of power allegations and refusing to concede for transition reasons in 2021 if Bobi Wine wins the Ugandan Presidential elections.

    Police in Uganda have a right to shoot protesters dead if they "reach a certain level of violence", Security Minister Elly Tumwine has said.

    Clashes with police sparked by the arrest of presidential candidate and former pop star Bobi Wine have left at least 28 people dead since Wednesday.

    He was later charged with spreading coronavirus at a campaign rally.

    But human rights groups say the charge is a pretext to suppress opposition ahead of elections due in January.

    The musician, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is among 11 candidates challenging President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986.

    The pop star seeking 'people power'
    ?Red, red wine': The meaning of African election symbols

    The singer was released on bail on Friday after a court appearance.

    His arrest two days earlier outraged his supporters. Groups of young people set up barricades, burnt tyres and piles of rubbish in the streets of the capital, Kampala, and other towns.

    Security forces responded by firing tear gas and live bullets to disperse people.

    Pointing to the fact that 11 security personnel had been injured Mr Tumwine told reporters that "police have a right to shoot you and kill you if you reach a certain level of violence".

    "Can I repeat? Police have a right to shoot you and you die for nothing.... do it at your own risk."

    In a statement, police said 28 people had died during protests on Wednesday and Thursday, but the AP news agency quotes a police pathologist and the head of police health services as saying they had counted 37 bodies by Thursday morning. In June Bobi Wine vowed to defy a ban on campaign rallies during the pandemic. He accused President Museveni of "fearing the people".

    Uganda government spokesman Don Wanyama told the BBC that officers could not "just fold their arms and allow anarchy to happen".

    He also said President Museveni had "stuck by the rules that were issued by the electoral commission and the ministry of health".

    Human Rights Watch says it is clear that the Ugandan authorities are using Covid-19 guidelines to repress opposition and that the governing party has held large campaign events.
    2px presentational grey line
    Uganda shocked by violence

    Patience Atuhaire, BBC News, Kampala

    Bobi Wine seemed quite contemplative as he listened from the dock while the charges were read. After two days in detention, his lawyers were finally granted access to him.

    He was charged for contravention of the public health act, an offence that attracts up to seven years in prison.

    The court building was surrounded by heavily armed security personnel. The aggressive police response to this week's protests has shocked the country.

    It is the worst violence to erupt on the streets of Uganda since Bobi Wine was nominated as a presidential candidate.
    2px presentational grey line

    Security was increased following the unrest. Officials say soldiers will be placed at major roads leading into Kampala and a 21:00 curfew will be strictly enforced.

    Over more than three decades in power, President Museveni has often been accused of using violence against political rivals. He has always denied such charges.

    A court in Uganda has charged the popular musician and prominent opposition leader Bobi Wine with breaching Covid regulations, after two days of spontaneous protests in which between 28 and 35 people are thought to have died.

    The arrest of Wine in eastern Uganda on Wednesday led to the worst unrest seen in Uganda for many years. The army was deployed to the streets of many cities, and live ammunition was used against unarmed demonstrators.

    Magistrates granted Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, bail of 1m shillings (?203) and told the 38-year-old politician to limit rallies to a maximum of 200 people and avoid any ?processions to or from the campaign venue?.
    Wine told the court that Yoweri Museveni, the veteran leader of Uganda who is seeking a sixth term in office, should be in the dock, not him.

    ?It?s in my opinion that this case shouldn?t be Uganda versus Kyagulanyi. This case should be Uganda versus Museveni,? said Wine.

    ?I am not here because I committed a crime. I am here because I offered myself to lead Ugandans into ending 35 years of a dictatorship,? Wine said. ?Let Museveni know that we are not slaves and we shall not accept to be slaves. We shall be free.?

    Wine has been attracting massive crowds and his campaign has rattled the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

    Museveni, 76, told a rally in Karamoja region on Thursday that the protesters were ?being used by outsiders ? homosexuals and others who don?t like the stability and independence of Uganda. But they will discover what they are looking for. We shall not tolerate confused people. They are playing with fire.?

    Earlier this month, Wine was temporarily blinded by police when he was arrested moments after being successfully certified as a candidate in next year?s election.

    Security forces have frequently fired teargas at his rallies and detained and beaten his supporters.

    Known by supporters as ?the ghetto president?, Wine is one of a new generation of politicians across Africa who are challenging longtime leaders, hoping to harness deep dissatisfaction among younger, more educated and often urban voters.

    He broke into formal politics in 2017 when he won a seat in Uganda?s national assembly, and has been since been badly assaulted and detained many times.

    Fred Enanga, Uganda?s police spokesperson, said the death toll in the unrest had reached 28. Other estimates put the total higher.

    A total of 577 suspects were arrested and police seized bows and arrows, piles of tyres, bottles, drums of fuel, and evidence of mobile money transactions funding the rioters, Enanga claimed.

    ?As you all know, the joint task force respects freedom of assembly and people?s democratic rights but will not allow for violent demonstrators and criminal opportunists to disrupt the peaceful environment we have had over the years,? he said.

    Enanga said the police would try to avoid the use of ?indiscriminate? teargas in favour of ?the use of batons, which are more specific?.
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    Deo Akiiki, Uganda?s deputy military spokesperson said troops would ?respond quickly and effectively to any incident of criminality across levels?.

    ?Surveillance mechanisms have been put in place to nip in the bud all evil plans by the already identified groups and individuals bent [on bringing] chaos to Ugandans,? Akiiki said.

    Museveni is eligible to seek another term next year after lawmakers removed constitutional age limits on the presidency. The former rebel leader?s party insists he remains its most popular member.

    Uganda has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1962.

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    Just three weeks into his official campaign for the Ugandan presidency, Ugandan musician and parliamentarian Robert Kyagulanyi (better known by his stage name Bobi Wine) has already been arrested twice. The first came just minutes after his formal nomination in the capital Kampala. Footage streamed by his party showed police smashing the windows of the stationary vehicle Wine and his associates were occupying.

    Wine was arrested again while campaigning in Luuka district last week. Protests in a number of Ugandan cities have since broken out and, in an unprecedented move, most other opposition presidential candidates suspended their campaigns until he was released. At least 49 people have been killed in those protests, which already makes this election bloodier than the last one in 2016.

    The official reason for both of these arrests was that the police had evidence that Wine was planning illegal rallies with numbers exceeding Covid-19 restrictions.

    However, most observers suspect it has more to do with the uncompromising stance he has taken against the incumbent regime of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. In the blistering speech he gave at his nomination, Wine accused Museveni of crimes ranging from corruption to dictatorship. At one point in the speech, he listed Uganda’s main ethnic groups one-by-one, naming the ways that each have been betrayed by Museveni who has ruled for 34 years.

    This is not the first time that Wine has clashed with the police. His 2018 arrest made headlines when he and other politicians were severely beaten in custody and his driver was shot dead by police.

    It is also highly unlikely that this latest arrest will be Wine’s last before the January 2021 poll. As has been seen in the past, Uganda’s campaign periods are routinely marred by acts of state intimidation and pressure against opposition candidates and their supporters.

    Wine’s confrontational and defiant approach suggests that more pressure from security forces is inevitable. While this much is predictable, the Wine candidacy still raises a number of questions that are difficult to answer.

    Leading the opposition
    Wine has already achieved something which few observers thought possible: wrestling the platform of primary opposition candidate away from his longtime ally Kizza Besigye.

    Besigye’s position as Museveni’s leading antagonist had become as embedded in Ugandan politics as the Museveni presidency itself. After splitting from the regime in 1999, Besigye has been runner-up in four straight elections, winning between 26% and 37% in official tallies.

    Every time he has stood, the question of who should lead the scattered opposition has been passionately debated. On each occasion, Besigye refused to give way.

    While other prominent opposition candidates have stood, they have not come close to Besigye’s vote share – something which has bolstered the case for his candidacy in each subsequent election.

    When it became clear last year that Wine wanted to seek the presidency himself, a clash between the two was imminent. The new parliamentarian had succeeded in captivating the young, educated voters and activists that had powered Besigye’s success. But few observers (ourselves included) believed that Besigye’s de facto opposition leader mantle would be effectively threatened.

    Besigye saw it differently, and declared in October 2020 that he would not be running. It is difficult to ascertain the precise reasons for his decision, but the perception that Wine’s political star had eclipsed his own is likely to have contributed in some way.

    In numerous by-elections over the past two years, Wine’s endorsed candidates have fared far better than Besigye’s. Opposition activists had placed unprecedented pressure on Besigye’s men to give Wine an open pathway.

    The youth demographic
    Political change is a complicated subject in Uganda. Young and educated opposition supporters yearn for a post-Museveni era. The youth are a growing piece of the demographic pie.

    The ability to travel easily and improved media access means that they are no longer a small and irrelevant constituency confined to Kampala. Increasingly, young opposition supporters are present and active in regional municipalities around the country. They are also well networked in the countryside and are carrying their anti-Museveni message to the most remote areas.

    Nevertheless, it is important not to overstate the scale of opposition support in Uganda.

    Although it is often ignored in international media coverage, Museveni and his National Resistance Movement remain popular across large swathes of the country. Older, rural voters in particular often regard regime change as a hauntingly perilous idea. These voters are more likely to link political change with a return to the years of chaos and bloodshed that preceded Museveni’s inauguration in 1986 – something the regime will doubtless assert explicitly in the coming months.
    This generation gap – which maps onto the urban-rural divide to some extent – is becoming the most salient political division in the country. Within towns, villages and even family units, the question of national political change is linked to the frustrations of younger voters. The youth feel that they do not have the pathway to build their livelihoods that their parents enjoyed during Uganda’s post-1986 economic recovery. The country’s rapidly expanding education system has also led many of them to expect well-paying jobs that are in short supply.

    Conversely, older citizens may regularly castigate these younger voters as lazy or idle troublemakers, and fear that they do not understand the risks of the change that they are demanding.

    It is the growing importance of this demographic terrain which has also made the question of opposition leadership so interesting. Because whilst Wine has crafted himself as an unapologetic champion of the frustrated youth, Besigye’s candidacy had benefited from being able to build a bridge between the old and the young. His earlier years as a Museveni ally has made him less threatening as an opposition candidate to some.

    New coronavirus excuse
    But questions of opposition leadership often take attention away from the deeper authoritarian realities of Museveni’s Uganda. It is not the case that the Museveni regime terrorises, bribes and rigs its way to victory in the crudest sense. But persistent state interventions substantially tilt the playing field to the point that it is effectively impossible for the opposition to organise and campaign.

    The latest feature of this double standard are the campaigning restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, which appear to be enforced more consistently on the opposition than on the ruling party candidates. As a result, all opposition campaigning has to be done online only.

    It is no coincidence, then, that recent months have also seen a systematic state-led media crackdown. Following the imposition of the COVID-19 lockdown in late March, the authorities have escalated their targeting of journalists, arresting newspaper, radio and TV journalists across the country.

    The Social Media Monitoring Centre has heightened its surveillance of social media usage. And in September, the government issued a public notice that all “online publishers and broadcasters” had to apply for a licence to continue uploading content.

    Ironically, Wine’s candidature may greatly benefit from a shift to virtual campaigning, even in the context of a wider media crackdown. He doesn’t have a formal campaign infrastructure, relying instead on both new and traditional media.

    The January elections will almost certainly result in a Museveni victory. However, the inevitability of the overall result should not blind us to the fact that the country’s politics are changing, even if the regime does not.

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    KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A bodyguard for Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine was killed and two journalists injured on Sunday amid violent confrontations between security forces and followers of the singer and lawmaker who is challenging the country’s long-time leader.

    A tearful Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said his bodyguard had died of his injuries after allegedly being run over by a truck belonging to the military police. The victim, Francis Senteza, was attacked while helping to transport a journalist injured in an earlier confrontation between police and a group of Wine’s supporters, he said.

    Wine was campaigning Sunday in parts of central Uganda where he has considerable support. As his convoy tried to proceed from one rally to the next, police fired tear gas into the crowd, injuring at least two journalists.

    Cameraman Ashraf Kasirye, a member of a TV crew that follows Wine wherever he goes, suffered a serious head injury.

    “We are hoping against hope that he will live,” Wine said of Kasirye on Twitter.

    Another journalist, Ali Mivule of local broadcaster NTV, was injured after a tear gas canister hit his leg, according to his employer. His condition was said to be stable.

    Police said in a statement that while trying to quell confrontations with Wine’s supporters, “journalists were regrettably caught up during the process of dispersing the violent group.” Kasirye is in critical condition after being apparently hit by a tear gas canister, it said.

    The Ugandan army spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso, disputed Wine’s version of events, saying the bodyguard fell while trying to jump into a speeding car.

    The three casualties are the latest victims of election-related violence as Uganda’s security forces are accused of trying to stop Wine from holding raucous public rallies.

    Uganda faces growing pressure from the international community and rights watchdogs to respect human rights ahead of polls scheduled for Jan. 14. The arrest and detention last week of a prominent rights attorney, Nicholas Opiyo, over criminal charges has added to what some critics see as a campaign of repression targeting civic leaders, activists, journalists and perceived political opponents.

    President Yoweri Museveni, who has held power since 1986, faces the strong challenge of Wine, who appeals to young people wishing to see a change of government. Museveni’s government is frequently criticized for corruption as well as widespread joblessness in the urban centers. Wine has repeatedly urged Museveni to retire, saying he would guarantee his safety.


    Wine’s campaign events have become increasingly affected by violent confrontations with authorities and Wine himself has been arrested many times by police who accuse him of trying to disrupt public order.

    Electoral authorities on Saturday banned campaign events in some urban areas, including the capital Kampala, citing an urgent need to control the spread of the coronavirus. That decision has been criticized by some who see it as a ploy to prevent opposition figures from displaying their support in areas where the ruling party is not so popular.

    Museveni is able to seek more time in office after lawmakers removed the last constitutional obstacle — age limits — to a possible life presidency for the 76-year-old leader.

    Uganda has never seen a peaceful transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1962.

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    KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Deadly violence and repressive measures have alarmed observers as Uganda prepares to vote on Jan. 14, with longtime President Yoweri Museveni challenged by young singer and lawmaker Bobi Wine, who has captured the imagination of many across Africa in a generational clash.

    Authorities have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to ban rallies in urban areas where Wine has strong support, including the capital, Kampala. In recent days Wine has been arrested and blocked from staying in hotels while campaigning, and one bodyguard was killed. Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, fears for his life as well.

    Critics allege that Museveni, who successfully oversaw the removal of a constitutional age limit on the presidency, is taking advantage of the pandemic to militarize the election in which he almost certainly will be declared the winner. Here’s what’s at stake:


    Museveni, a former rebel leader who took power in 1986 and brought stability after years of horrific upheaval, faces 10 challengers. His main opponent is Wine and his “People Power” movement that is so popular that authorities have banned its distinctive red beret. Wine has been detained many times on charges ranging from treason to violating virus restrictions, but he has never been convicted and supporters call his treatment politically motivated.

    The 76-year-old Museveni, long a U.S. regional security ally, asserts a “popular mandate” in ordering security forces to crack down on people he calls criminals bent on undermining his government’s authority. His campaign theme is “securing the future” of the East African nation of over 44 million people. At least 17 million are registered voters.

    The 38-year-old Wine asserts that Museveni is part of the old guard that has presided over rampant corruption and dimmed the hopes of millions of jobless Ugandans. The country’s population is one of the youngest in the world, with a median age under 18. Wine has urged Museveni to retire peacefully, saying he would guarantee his safety.

    There has been no reliable polling ahead of the vote. Museveni is thought to enjoy solid support among older Ugandans in some rural areas, but Wine has surprised authorities by drawing huge crowds in rural areas and dispelling the idea that he represents only the urban poor.

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    KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s main opposition candidate in next week’s presidential election has swapped his trademark red beret for a helmet and starts each day with shadow-boxing and a prayer to survive a campaign trail he describes as a war zone.
    Popstar-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, who goes by the name Bobi Wine, is the frontrunner among 10 candidates challenging Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 34-year rule in the East African nation at the Jan. 14 vote.

    While former guerrilla fighter Museveni, 76, has long been seen as a stabilising force in Uganda after the brutal reigns of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, opponents say his administration has become riddled with corruption and nepotism.

    “Museveni is a different generation. He is a representative of history. I am a representative of the future,” Wine, 38, told Reuters at his home, a sprawling compound in Magere, a suburb on the northern outskirts of the capital Kampala.

    Previous presidential election campaigns have been marked by the intimidation of opposition candidates though analysts say crackdowns by the security forces have been more brutal and widespread this time around.

    Wine’s energy, music and humble origins have struck a chord with Uganda’s many young people, unnerving the ruling party and leading to repeated arrests of Wine and his loyalists for allegedly threatening public order.

    “I am in this struggle to liberate Uganda,” he told Reuters. “Before that is accomplished I don’t care how many times I am arrested, harassed, beaten, tear gassed or pepper sprayed.”

    If elected, Wine said he would create jobs for the youth and crack down on corruption that he says has left schools and hospitals crumbling in the country of 46 million people.

    Uganda has one of Africa’s youngest populations with nearly 80% under 30 years old, government data shows. The government estimates four out of six young Ugandans are unemployed and 80% of those working are in informal jobs with low pay.

    Museveni’s office did not respond to a Reuters request for an interview. His spokesman referred requests for comment on allegations of corruption and nepotism to the ruling National Resistance Movement party, which did not respond.

    Museveni has previously said there was a corruption problem but he was fighting it. He has denied accusations of nepotism.

    ‘WAR ZONE’

    Under Museveni, Uganda has been a staunch Western ally and it provides the biggest contingent of the African Union force fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. Uganda found major oil reserves over a decade ago but has yet to produce any crude and it relies on foreign aid for a quarter of its budget.

    Slideshow ( 3 images )
    Last month, the government banned election rallies saying they could spread COVID-19 but Wine and other candidates argue that has prevented a free and fair election because government allies control most of the media outlets.

    Electoral Commission spokesman Paul Bukenya told Reuters rallies could become coronavirus superspreader events and candidates had many ways to disseminate their messages including flyers, banners, billboards, brochures and social media.

    Wine, a slim but sturdy figure, grew up in a Kampala slum, the 20th child in a polygamous family of 33 children.

    Slideshow ( 3 images )
    He said his music - and his politics - was inspired by the struggles his mother faced as she hawked street food to educate and feed her children.

    Wine’s musical career took off in the early 2000s with songs decrying urban poverty and political oppression, backed by catchy, feel-good beats. In 2017, he won a parliamentary by-election as an independent by a landslide and then last year he became leader of the opposition National Unity Platform party.

    He has been detained multiple times since entering politics, including on the day he filed his nomination papers, and has taken to wearing a bullet-proof vest, as well as his helmet.

    “If I didn’t have it I don’t know what would have happened to me. Every one, six people whom I move with in the car, have all been hit,” Wine said. “(It’s) more or less a war zone.”

    Wine says he has been targeted with tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and pepper spray. Police say his campaign is breaking laws governing public order and COVID-19 restrictions.

    At least 54 people died in protests that erupted when Wine was detained in one incident in November. In another, an injured protester died in his campaign ambulance after police blocked its path, Wine said.

    “Some days you start eating tear gas as early as seven in the morning. Others you start much later. You start a day with 20 people and by the end of the day half of them are in prison.”

    Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by David Clarke

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    Update the President of Uganda is accused of escalating tensions over the January 14th elections.

    KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Police in Uganda have confronted opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine during an online press conference, and he says they fired tear gas and bullets as they swarmed his car.

    Journalists watched Thursday evening as an officer appeared to drag Wine from the car while he pleaded that he had broken no law. “I am not even allowed to park on the side of the road,” he said. “Please don’t embarrass our country.”

    The popular singer and opposition leader was announcing that he is petitioning the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of rights abuses in the East African country ahead of next week’s presidential election. Prosecutors at the ICC receive hundreds such applications each year.

    Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has fired the imagination of many across Africa as he tries to unseat longtime President Yoweri Museveni, who has deployed the military to prevent what he sees as opposition attempts to create civil unrest that could cause regime change.

    Wine and other opposition figures have called Museveni a dictator. “Many atrocities are being committed on the orders of Museveni,” the singer told reporters.

    Government officials did not immediately comment.

    The 38-year-old Wine, arrested many times on various charges but never convicted, now says his life may be in danger. He campaigns while wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet.

    “I expect a live bullet targeted at me any time,” said Wine, who has sent his children to the United States over safety concerns.

    Ahead of the 14 January national election, President Yoweri Musevni's government is not letting up on the pressure on his opponents. Its strategy is to limit the opposition's ability to get out its message and mobilise voters.

    The government’s repression and COVID-19 prevention measures are limiting opposition leader Bobi Wine’s ability to mobilise and strengthening Museveni’s chances of remaining in power, analysts say.

    “The January elections will almost certainly result in a Museveni victory. However, the inevitability of the overall result should not blind us to the fact that the country’s politics are changing, even if the regime does not,” wrote academics Sam Wilkins and Richard Vokes.

    Prison time
    More than a hundred members of Bobi Wine’s presidential campaign team were granted bail on Monday 4 January, after their arrest while on the campaign trail on 31 December.

    The arrest and prosecution of 126 people, 90 of whom were part of a campaign advance team, is the latest of multiple hurdles to Bobi Wine’s presidential bid by Uganda’s security forces.

    Among those arrested and presented before a court 100kms southwest of the capital are Wine’s personal bodyguard Eddy Mutwe, his musical partner Nubian Li, and music producer and close aide Dan Magic. At least seven of them will remain in custody until 19 January, Ugandan local daily Daily Monitor reported on Tuesday.

    Campaign stops
    The National Unity Platform presidential candidate had also been detained during the failed New Year’s Eve campaign stop, but he was flown home to Kampala in a military helicopter while his campaign team was arrested to await formal charges.

    READ MORE Uganda: Bobi Wine suspends presidential campaign after violence

    Bobi Wine is one of 10 candidates seeking to unseat the incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni. It is also the first time in the last four elections that Museveni’s erstwhile rival, Kizza Besigye of the main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), is not on the ballot.

    After Besigye declined to make a fifth stab at the presidency, the opposition party instead picked Patrick Oboi Amuriat as its president and presidential candidate in the 14 January polls.
    The FDC presidential candidate has also been arrested and released several times while on the campaign trail, most recently on 2 January.
    Among the candidates are also two former military commanders, Major General Mugisha Muntu, who quit the FDC after losing to Amuriat, and Lieutenant Gen. Henry Tumukunde, a former security minister who is facing treason charges.
    Despite Besigye’s absence from the race, President Museveni has taken to the same methods he used against his former comrade-in-arms to the pool of new challengers and their core supporters.
    In his campaign runs and two-decade presence as Museveni’s primary challenger, Besigye was frequently arrested – by his account 43 times between 2011 and 2016 – and his campaigns attacked and scuttled.

    Barefoot for ballots
    In the current campaigns, Besigye’s successor at FDC, Amuriat, has been campaigning barefoot since he lost his shoes during an arrest in November.

    On the same day, Bobi Wine’s campaign team was arrested. Also Justin Juuko, a Ugandan boxing champion and FDC mobiliser, was released after 19 days in military detention.

    READ MORE Uganda: Can Bobi Wine unseat Yoweri Museveni?

    On the campaign trail, Wine now dons a bulletproof vest and a helmet after what he said were three attempts on his life. His campaign stops throughout December were marked with teargas, riot police squads and cat-and-mouse games to avoid roadblocks.

    Just days before the New Year’s Eve arrests, one of Wine’s bodyguards, Frank Senteza, was deliberately run down by a military vehicle and later died in hospital. The Ugandan military has since denied the claim, and said instead that Senteza died after falling off a speeding vehicle.
    In November, protests broke out in the country after Wine was arrested. At least 54 people died in the widespread protests, more than half of whom were aged 14-30, according to an analysis by a Ugandan daily.

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    Folks the USA is not the only country right now facing riots in relation to the outcome of the election now Bobi Wine is being assaulted by Pro-Yoweri Museveni Thugs while running for president.

    Police in Uganda have confronted the presidential candidate Bobi Wine during an online press conference where he announced a petition to the international criminal court to investigate rights abuses in the country.
    Bobi Wine likens Uganda election to 'a war and a battlefield'
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    During the meeting with journalists on Thursday evening, a week ahead of tense elections in Uganda, officers appeared to haul Wine from a vehicle while he pleaded: “I am not even allowed to park on the side of the road.”

    Wine said police fired live rounds and teargas and arrested his campaign team in the latest episode of an escalating crackdown on him and his team by state security forces ahead of the elections.

    In a defiant statement posted on Twitter, Wine said his battle to unseat the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, would continue. “Today they arrested all the 23 members of our new campaign team & impounded the cars. They thought they had broken our back,” he wrote. “The wave is unstoppable! #WeAreRemovingADictator.”

    The confrontation played out hours after the deadly riot in the US Capitol led to questions about whether some governments would be emboldened to push back harder against people invoking democratic ideals like fair elections.
    Wine has drawn the ire of the 76-year-old Museveni, who has governed Uganda since 1986 and who he has repeatedly branded a dictator.

    The president retains strong support in Uganda, with decades of economic growth and subsidies winning him a mass following, particularly in rural areas. Yet Wine’s campaign has galvanised staunch opposition to Museveni, and his stand against an old ruling elite and inequality has inspired young people in urban areas, and many across the continent.

    In response to a strong challenge to Museveni’s rule, Uganda has experienced its worst political violence in a generation and there have been repeated arrests and attacks on opposition figures.

    Hours after Wine announced his candidacy in November, he was arrested, and more than 50 people were shot dead by security forces in the protests that followed.

    Those deaths form a critical part of Wine’s petition to the ICC to investigate alleged acts of torture, mutilation and murder of civilian protesters.

    The petition by Wine and two other alleged torture victims mentions Museveni, the security minister Elly Tumwine, and other security officials.

    Wine was a popular singer before he won a seat in parliament and attracted national attention as the beret-wearing leader of a movement known as People Power.

    In December, Wine said one of his bodyguards was killed by military police who ran him over as Wine’s convoy was taking a wounded journalist to seek medical help. Military police denied involvement, saying the bodyguard had fallen from a speeding car.

    Last week Wine told the Guardian in an interview that he is forced to wear a bulletproof jacket, describing the campaign as “like a war and a battlefield”.

    “The regime is after our lives. It’s after hurting and incapacitating us. Every day we live is as if it’s the last one,” he said.

    Authorities have clamped down on opposition rallies, stating they are in breach of Covid-19 restrictions. Last month the government wrote to Google, asking it to shut down 14 YouTube video channels that often host opposition figures because it said they had incited riots.

    Fears have also grown that the internet could be shut down on election day, 14 January, after similar moves in the last election in 2016.

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    NAIROBI, Kenya — Uganda’s leading opposition figure has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court against the country’s president and nine security officials, accusing them of authorizing a wave of violence and human rights abuses that has intensified in the run-up to next week’s general election.

    The complaint, filed in The Hague on Thursday by the opposition leader, Bobi Wine, also accused the Ugandan government of incitement to murder, the abuse of protesters, and arrests and beatings of political figures and human rights lawyers. Mr. Wine, a popular musician-turned-lawmaker, said the government of President Yoweri Museveni had not only subjected him to arrests and beatings, but had also tried to kill him, beginning in 2018.

    Mr. Wine, 38, is the leading contender among 10 candidates trying to unseat Mr. Museveni, who has ruled Uganda, a landlocked nation in East Africa, since 1986. Mr. Museveni, though once credited with bringing stability to the country, has in recent years been accused of subverting civil liberties, muzzling the press and stifling dissent.

    Mr. Museveni, 76, is campaigning for his sixth term in office, after signing a law in 2018 scrapping the age limit for presidential candidates, which had been 75. He is largely expected to win the upcoming vote. Political analysts say that he faces a fragmented opposition, and he won plaudits for championing infrastructure projects — from new factories to hospitals and roads. He has also capitalized on the notion that his government has handled the pandemic competently; Uganda has reported only 290 coronavirus-related deaths.
    Mr. Wine and others have faced the wrath of authorities in recent years, but the clampdown has intensified as the election, scheduled for Jan. 14, has neared. While Mr. Museveni has been allowed to hold campaign events, the government has broken up or impeded rallies held by his opponents, saying these events violate rules intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
    The crackdown on nationwide protests has led to the deaths of at least 54 people, and the arrest of hundreds, according to authorities.

    Joining Mr. Wine in the complaint filed to the International Criminal Court were Francis Zaake, an opposition lawmaker who said he had been assaulted by security forces, and Amos Katumba, the chairman of a local nongovernmental organization who fled to the United States after he said he had been arrested and tortured.

    “I am glad that we are able to raise a case against General Museveni and his other generals and the people that he’s using to massacre the people of Uganda,” Mr. Wine, using Mr. Museveni’s full military rank, said in an online news conference on Thursday.
    A government spokesman did not respond to a text message seeking comment.

    While Mr. Wine was speaking to the news media on Thursday, security officers thronged the vehicle he was inside, setting off tear gas and firing shots.
    Wearing a helmet and flak jacket, Mr. Wine, a performer whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, said he “expected a live bullet targeted at me any time.”

    The court filing came hours after Mr. Wine said security officers had waylaid him on the campaign trail and arrested all 23 members of his campaign team. He also said he had received information that his children would be kidnapped, prompting him to send them out of the country.

    Mr. Wine’s attempts to campaign have been repeatedly interrupted. On Nov. 3, just after submitting their nomination papers, he and another candidate, Patrick Amuriat, were detained by the police. In mid-November, Mr. Wine was arrested on accusations that his rallies breached coronavirus rules — inciting the protests across the country that resulted in deaths, injuries and arrests. After he was denied access to his family and lawyers for two days, Mr. Wine was charged and released on bail.

    In recent weeks, authorities have also arrested civil society activists, including the prominent human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo who was held on money laundering charges. Police officers have also harassed and beaten journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (C.P.J.), and deported a news crew with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    “What we’ve seen since November is incredibly worrying and shocking,” Muthoki Mumo, the C.P.J. sub-Saharan Africa representative, said in an interview. “It’s just unabated violence against journalists. It has become downright dangerous being a journalist reporting on the opposition during this election.”

    Martin Okoth, the inspector general of police, said in a news conference on Friday that he would not apologize for the police beating journalists because the police were trying to protect them.

    “We shall beat you for your own sake, to help you understand,” Mr. Okoth said, adding that journalists should not go to areas that the police deem unsafe or out of bounds.

    The wave of arrests and intimidation has alarmed foreign embassies and human rights organizations, with a group of United Nations human rights experts calling on the government to cease the violence and create “an environment conducive to peaceful and transparent elections.”

    The 47-page filing to the International Criminal Court contains detailed accounts, photos and links to videos alleging human rights abuses committed or sanctioned by Mr. Museveni and nine current and former officials.

    The court has jurisdiction over allegations of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression. The prosecutor’s office confirmed in an email on Friday that they had received the brief and would review the allegations and inform the petitioners of the next steps.

    Uganda is a party to the International Criminal Court and has sought the court’s help in arresting Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, who is wanted on 33 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. If it decides to accept Mr. Wine’s petition, the court would gather evidence by speaking to victims and witnesses and send investigators to collect testimony in areas where purported crimes took place.

    Bruce Afran, the lawyer who filed the complaint on behalf of Mr. Wine, argued that the court would have jurisdiction because the complaint alleges an “extensive and repetitive pattern and practice of torture as to political figures and opposition figures.”

    “One of the critical factors is the regular and routinized pattern of torture and abuse,” Mr. Afran said, asserting that it had become “Ugandan government policy.”

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  13. #13
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    KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has scored a decisive election victory to win a sixth term, the country’s election commission said on Saturday, but his main rival Bobi Wine denounced the results as fraudulent and urged citizens to reject them.

    The 76-year-old Museveni, in power since 1986 and one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, dismissed the allegations of fraud in an evening address to the nation, saying Thursday’s election may turn out to be the “most cheating free” in Uganda’s history.

    The Electoral Commission said final counts showed Museveni won 5.85 million votes, or 58.6%, while Wine had 3.48 million votes (34.8%).

    The campaign was marked by a deadly crackdown by security forces on Wine, other opposition candidates and their supporters. In the run-up to the vote local civil society groups and foreign governments questioned its credibility and transparency, after scores of requests for accreditation to monitor the election were denied.

    The United States and an African election monitoring group complained of election irregularities.

    Britain said it was concerned by a national internet shutdown that began the day before the vote, and that it said constrained freedoms and “clearly limited the transparency of the elections”. In a statement, British Minister for Africa James Duddridge also called for concerns about the election process to be investigated.

    Wine, a 38-year-old singer-turned-lawmaker who had rallied young Ugandans behind his call for political change, called the results a “complete fraud”.

    “It’s an election that was taken over by the military and the police,” he said in a phone interview from inside his home in the capital, Kampala, which was surrounded by soldiers who he said had forbidden him from leaving.

    “It further exposes how dictatorial the Museveni regime is,” added Wine, who campaigned to end what he called widespread corruption. “It’s a mockery of democracy.”

    Army deputy spokesman Deo Akiiki told Reuters that security officers at Wine’s house were assessing threats he could face: “So they might be preventing him in the interest of his own safety.”

    Museveni argued in the campaign that his long experience makes him a good leader and promised to keep delivering stability and progress.

    Wearing his signature hat and speaking from his rural home on Saturday evening, Museveni criticised “the elite” for problems with the national education and health systems and noted that Uganda has surplus supplies of sugar, milk and maize.

    Reprising a familiar refrain, he said he is not in government to enjoy a good life, which he has as a farmer, but rather to address historical challenges.

    The government banned all social media and messaging apps on Tuesday. On Wednesday it ordered the internet shut off and has not yet restored it.

    (Graphic: Uganda's presidential election - )


    After the results were announced, many neighbourhoods in normally bustling Kampala were unusually quiet as nightfall approached. Soldiers and police who had patrolled throughout the day remained on the streets in large numbers, witnesses said.

    “These gunmen are all over and they are ready to kill,” said Innocent Mutambi, 26, a welder. “I am sure what they announced is false, but right now we can’t take them on, they will kill us.”

    Hundreds of the president’s supporters rode motorcycles from the election tallying centre to downtown, where people danced with posters bearing the president’s face.

    Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has said he has video proof of voting fraud that he will share once internet connections are restored.
    He told Reuters on Saturday that his campaign has evidence that the military forced people at gunpoint to vote for Museveni and engaged in ballot stuffing and other rigging.

    The electoral commission said on Friday that under Ugandan law, the burden of proof rested with Wine.

    Reuters has not independently verified Wine’s claims.

    The Africa Elections Watch coalition, which deployed 2,000 observers in 146 districts, said in a statement that they had observed irregularities, including the late opening of most polling stations, missing ballot papers, and illegally opened ballot boxes.

    The African Union also sent an observer mission but had no comment yet on the vote.

    The U.S. State Department’s top diplomat for Africa, Tibor Nagy, said in a tweet on Saturday that the “electoral process has been fundamentally flawed”. He cited fraud reports, denial of accreditation to observers, violence and harassment of opposition members, and the arrest of civil society activists.

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    Update the Ugandan elections are being challenged

    The party of the Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine says it is preparing to challenge President Yoweri Museveni’s election victory as it condemned what it called the house arrest of Wine and his wife.

    Amid growing international concern about the conduct of the election, Wine said in an interview from his house, where he is surrounded by army and police, that he was “worried about my life and the life of my wife”.

    Announcing the planned challenge to the results, Mathias Mpuuga, of Wine’s National Unity Platform, told a news conference: “We have evidence of ballot stuffing and other forms of election malpractice and after putting it together we are going to take all measures that the law permits to challenge this fraud.”

    The continued confinement of Wine came as clashes between security forces and opposition protesters led to at least two deaths.

    Museveni, 76, who has ruled Uganda without pause since seizing control in 1986, when he helped to end years of tyranny under Idi Amin and Milton Obote, claimed a sixth five-year term, extending his rule to four decades, according to official results.
    In a generational clash watched across the African continent with a booming young population and a host of ageing leaders, the 38-year-old Wine, a singer turned lawmaker, posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni

    The clashes with police following the announcement of Museveni’s victory took place in a number of locations, including in Gomba, where Wine lives, and neighbouring Sembabule. They were quickly dispersed.

    Wine, who dismissed Museveni’s victory as “cooked-up, fraudulent results,” remained under military house arrest on Sunday as his supporters called for his release.

    Uganda’s electoral commission said that Museveni received 58% of the vote to Wine’s 34%, with a voter turnout of 52%.

    The United States and Britain issued statements on Saturday calling for investigations into fraud reports and other concerns over the election as the top US diplomat in African raised questions over the integrity of the election.

    “Uganda’s electoral process has been fundamentally flawed,” Tibor Nagy, tweeted, warning that “the US response hinges on what the Ugandan government does now”.

    Museveni dismissed the claims of vote-rigging. “I think this may turn out to be the most cheating-free election since 1962 [when Uganda won independence from Britain],” said Museveni in a national address on Saturday.

    Wine tweeted on Sunday that military units are not allowing him and his wife, Barbie, from leaving their house, not even to harvest food from their garden. “It’s now four days since the military surrounded our home and placed my wife and I under house arrest,” said Wine’s tweet.

    “We have run out of food supplies and when my wife tried to pick food from the garden yesterday, she was blocked and assaulted by the soldiers staged in our compound.”

    “We ask Ugandans to reject this fraud,” the opposition National Unity Platform said in a statement on Sunday. “A revolution of this nature cannot be stopped by a fraudulent election.”

    The party said the prominent MP Francis Zaake, who had been arrested during an attempted visit to Wine’s house on Friday, had been admitted to hospital “badly beaten and brutalised” by security forces.

    Ugandan officials have said the soldiers and police were there for Wine’s own security.

    The opposition party said that its “quest for a free Uganda is on despite the current attack on free speech and association,” referring to the days-long shutdown of the internet by the government.

    The party urged its followers to use every “constitutionally available avenue” to pursue political change.

    “As we speak now, our president [Wine] is under illegal detention at his home,” Mpuuga told reporters at the headquarters of Wine’s party in Kampala.

    “Perhaps his crime was to defeat Mr Museveni on the day he has selected as his crowning,” he said. “[Wine] is not allowed to leave or receive visitors at his home.”

    Wine’s party alleged that soldiers had actually broken into his compound.

    “We are concerned about the state in which he is,” a party spokesman, Joel Ssenyonyi, said of Wine. “Is his house now a barracks?”

    Although Museveni stays in power, at least nine of his cabinet ministers, including the vice-president, were defeated in the parliamentary elections, many losing to candidates from Wine’s party.

    Wine had strong support in Uganda’s cities, where frustration with unemployment and corruption is high.

    The electoral commission deflected questions about how countrywide voting results were transmitted during the nationwide internet blackout by saying “we designed our own system”.

    “We did not receive any orders from above during this election,” the commission chair, Simon Byabakama, told reporters, adding his team was “neither intimidated nor threatened.”

    Tracking the vote was further complicated by the arrests of independent monitors and the denial of accreditation to most members of the US observer mission, leading the US to cancel its monitoring of the vote.

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    Uganda has accused the US of trying to subvert last week’s presidential elections after the US ambassador attempted to visit the main opposition candidate at his home, which has been surrounded by security forces since the vote.

    The military surrounded the home of pop star-turned-legislator Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, shortly after he cast his ballot in Thursday’s presidential elections.

    The incumbent, Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has been in power since 1986, was declared the winner of the poll with 59% of the vote against Wine’s 35%.

    On Tuesday Wine said he and his wife had run out of food, and milk for her 18-month-old niece.

    The sharp, public rebuke to the US from the Ugandan government is relatively unusual as the two nations are allies.

    The US supports Ugandan soldiers serving in an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia and has donated about $1.5bn to Uganda’s health sector in the past three years.

    The US ambassador, Natalie E Brown, was stopped from visiting Wine at his home in a suburb in the northern outskirts of the capital, Kampala, the embassy said in a statement late on Monday.

    The mission said Brown wanted to check on his “health and safety”. Wine became famous after years of singing about government corruption and nepotism, charges denied by the administration. Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said Brown had no business visiting Wine.

    “What she has been trying to do blatantly is to meddle in Uganda’s internal politics, particularly elections, to subvert our elections and the will of the people,” he said. “She shouldn’t do anything outside the diplomatic norms.”

    Brown had a track record of causing trouble in countries where she has worked in the past, Opondo claimed, adding that the government was watching her.

    There was no immediate comment from Brown or the embassy. The embassy has said last week’s vote was tainted by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of the media and rights advocates and a nationwide internet shutdown.

    “These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest of a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy,” it said.

    The US and EU did not send observer missions for the polls because Ugandan authorities denied accreditation and had failed to implement recommendations by past missions.

    Wine said on Twitter that even the father of his wife’s infant niece they were looking after had been refused entry to collect her. “We have run out of food and milk. No one is allowed to leave or come into our compound,” he wrote. A police spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

    On Tuesday, Wine’s lawyers filed a petition in the high court challenging the legality of detaining Wine and his wife without charge. The court has not yet said when the petition will be heard, lawyer Benjamin Katana told Reuters.

    During the campaign, security forces routinely broke up Wine’s rallies with teargas, bullets, beatings and detentions. They said the gatherings were violating laws meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

    In November, 54 people were killed as security forces quelled a protest that erupted after Wine was detained for alleged violation of the anti-coronavirus measures.

    Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) have rejected the election results and said they were planning a court challenge.

    On Monday, security forces cordoned off the party’s offices in the capital. The move was aimed at complicating the NUP’s efforts to collect evidence of poll irregularities.

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    . KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine filed a supreme court challenge on Monday seeking cancellation of the results of a presidential election that handed victory to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, his party’s lawyer said.

    Museveni, a former guerrilla leader who has led the East African country since 1986, was declared winner of the Jan. 14 election with 59% of the vote, while Wine was given 35%.

    “We want the poll cancelled and repeated,” said George Musisi, lawyer for Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP).

    Wine, 38, a pop star and lawmaker, rejected the results and said he believed his victory was stolen. Musisi said Wine was asking the court to overturn the results on several grounds including widespread use of violence.

    “There was outright ballot-stuffing, there was intimidation of NUP agents and supporters, some were arrested on the eve of the election, there was pre-ticking of ballots,” he said.

    The filing showed the judiciary could be trusted to adjudicate over the dispute fairly, Museveni’s National Resistance Movement party told Reuters, adding the petition did not have much chance of succeeding.

    “Kyagulanyi is trying to give his supporters a soft landing but inside himself he knows he lost genuinely,” said Rogers Mulindwa, NRM’s spokesman.

    Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, used his youthful energy and a widespread Ugandan love of music to build a large following among young people and present a formidable challenge to Museveni.

    On the campaign trail, which Wine once described as a “war zone”, he was forced to wear a bulletproof vest and a ballistics helmet for safety reasons.

    To keep a lid on Wine’s support, authorities responded with a violent crackdown. His rallies were routinely broken up with bullets, beatings, teargas and detentions.

    Wine was himself on various occasions prevented from appearing on radio talk shows during campaigns and blocked from going to certain parts of the country to canvass for votes.

    Uganda’s judiciary has over the years drawn criticism from the political opposition and some human rights activists for alleged partisan rulings in high-profile political cases.

    Challenges to the results of all the four previous elections won by Museveni have been dismissed by the supreme court.

    In the rulings, most judges acknowledged the elections were marred by irregularities, but said those irregularities could not have affected the election’s ultimate result in a substantial manner.

    Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by William Maclean/Mark Heinrich

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