‘Under siege’: Uganda’s Bobi Wine says military raids home

The politician tells Al Jazeera the military had been surrounding his house for the last two days.

Bobi Wine has been arrested multiple times on various charges, but never convicted. He says dozens of his party members have also been arrested [James Akena/Reuters]
Bobi Wine has been arrested multiple times on various charges, but never convicted. He says dozens of his party members have also been arrested [James Akena/Reuters]

Uganda’s opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine has told Al Jazeera the military has “taken over” his compound just hours after he alleged Thursday’s election was rigged.

Bobi Wine said the military had surrounded his house for the last two days and it “wreaked havoc” on Friday after taking over his compound.

“They have taken over my compound. They have arrested my security guard and beat him up so bad,” Bobi Wine told Al Jazeera.

“My phone, my wife’s phone and all the phones of the people I am with have been blocked. That is the situation now,” he added.

“The military has taken over my house and are not answering my questions. Me and my wife are stricken with fear. We don’t know what will happen now to our lives.”

Bobi Wine tweeted the news just hours after he said “every legal option is on the table” to challenge the official results.

Military officials told Al Jazeera while there was an incident at Bobi Wine’s residence, it was not “the way Bobi Wine was explaining it”.

“It is not true that the people who jumped over [into his home] were security personnel but they were civilians,” deputy military spokesperson Deo Akiki told Al Jazeera.

“We do not know if they were his guests or not. But as security, we took interest,” he said, adding that one person was arrested while the two managed to escape.

Akiki said the large presence of security forces was “to monitor his security and ensure he is safe” since Bobi Wine was a presidential candidate.

However, Bobi Wine rejected Akiki’s claims, saying no civilian jumped over his wall.

“Some soldiers jumped into his compound and beat up his guards … some journalists who are there are also telling us that there is a huge presence of soldiers around his house,” said Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from Kampala.

Counting ongoing

On Friday, Uganda’s electoral commission said longtime President Yoweri Museveni leads Bobi Wine and other candidates in provisional results which Bobi Wine described as a “joke”.

With 6.8 million ballots counted, or 37 percent of registered voters, Museveni had won 4.05 million, or 62.2 percent, while main opposition candidate Wine had 1.99 million votes (30.6 percent), the electoral commission said just after 9 pm (1800 GMT).

It says final results will be announced on Saturday afternoon.

Bobi Wine said he would provide evidence of pre-ticked ballots and other irregularities once internet access in Uganda is restored.

“We secured a comfortable victory,” Bobi Wine said. “I am very confident that we defeated the dictator by far.”

He was considering “peaceful and nonviolent protests” over the declared results and said “every legal option is on the table”.

Candidates can challenge election results at the Supreme Court.

Internet in the East African country remains inaccessible after the government cut it off on the eve of the elections.

On Tuesday, Museveni announced the suspension of social media networks and messaging services including Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp in response to Facebook closing accounts linked to government officials the technology giant said were spreading misinformation.

Bobi Wine has been arrested multiple times on various charges, but never convicted. He says dozens of his party members have also been arrested.

He campaigned while wearing a bullet-proof vest, saying the feared for his life.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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