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Uganda’s Bobi Wine Reports Police Raid on Home Two Days Before Presidential Election

A supporter of Ugandan opposition Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine, carry his electoral campaign poster ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, in Kampala, Uganda, Jan. 12, 2021.

Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine said the military raided his home Tuesday and beat one of his guards, two days before the presidential election. Reports said Uganda also ordered all social media blocked ahead of the election.

Singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, has not campaigned for the last five days.

With authorities restricting his movements, Wine has spent most of his time at his house on the outskirts of Kampala.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, he accused police of invading his home.

“This morning, my house was raided, two of my gardeners were taken away." Kyagulanyi said. "And my security guard was beaten very badly. Even the polling agents that we sent out there, even the coordinators that have been identifying and recruiting polling agents are being rounded up and arrested and being charged with recruiting rebels.”

Wine is campaigning for president as candidate of the National Unity Platform party, which has become the main opposition group in Uganda.

Presidential challenger Bobi Wine holds a press conference in Kampala Uganda, Jan.12, 2021.
Presidential challenger Bobi Wine holds a press conference in Kampala Uganda, Jan.12, 2021.

Tuesday was meant to be the final day of campaigning for all presidential candidates in the central areas of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso districts.

However, in December, the Electoral Commission suspended campaigns in 12 districts considered opposition strongholds. The commission said it was following guidelines by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, over 100 National Unity Platform supporters are being held in different detention centers around the country. The police said many of those arrested belong to youth brigades that have been involved in criminal activities ahead and during the elections.

Opposition and human rights activists accuse the government of paving the way for another election victory by President Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 34-year rule over Uganda.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said police have credible intelligence that Wine intends to go into hiding after casting his vote Thursday.

“Honorable Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert wants to go into hiding, possibly in one of the embassies immediately after casting his vote," Enanga said. "And thereafter allege through his NUP Networks and bloggers that he has been kidnapped by state operatives. This intention is to incite the public.”

As Ugandans wait to cast their vote Thursday, few have access to sites such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter after the government ordered a shutdown of social media.

In a letter, the Uganda Communications Commission directed all telecom companies to immediately suspend any access and use of all social media platforms and online messaging applications over the networks until further notice.