Police in Uganda have surrounded the homes of the opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine and that of the former presidential aspirant Kizza Besigye as the country prepares to swear in President Yoweri Museveni for a sixth term tomorrow.
Museveni won the flawed elections in January 2021 after the country’s electoral commission dismissed all the allegations of vote rigging and intimidation claims made by opposition candidate Bobi Wine.
Wine and Besigye took to their Twitter handles on Monday night where they expressed concerns over heavy police presence around their homes. The two including their supporters have been harassment by law enforcement officers for challenging Museveni’s long dictatorial rule.
Bobi Wine, a pop star turned politician termed Museveni’s action as “cowardly” as Besigye maintains that Museveni’s swearing-in for the sixth time is “illegal”.
The situation around my home is still tense. Dozens of soldiers are surrounding my home, checking every vehicle that comes in or goes out. All this to suppress the citizens' voices as the emperor crowns himself for a 6th term! In this I am confident- WE SHALL OVERCOME pic.twitter.com/IDiTfEIoEz
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) May 10, 2021
But Uganda’s National Army Deputy Spokesperson, Deo Akiiki, defended the heavy deployment of police as a move to avert possible chaos during the swearing in ceremony.
“With credible evidence from intelligence, we shall not hesitate to arrest more of these schemers as and when we detect,” said Akiiki.
The long serving president has always ensured that his inaugurations are marred by heavy security presence especially in urban areas and their surroundings.
Ugandan media has reported that close to 4,000 people, including 11 Heads of State, have been invited to Museveni’s oath taking which will be held at the Kololo Grounds in the capital Kampala.
Museveni grabbed power in 1986 after overthrowing General Tito Okello, who had only ruled the country for 181 days but since then he [Museveni] has rigged and ‘won’ all presidential elections in Uganda.
He got 5.85 million votes which represents 58.64 % of the total votes cast in the January 14, 2021 presidential election, while his closest challenger, Wine, got 3.48 million votes (34.83 %). But Bobi Wine said the results were doctored to hand Museveni an illegitimate win.
Election monitors also reported that the confidence in the count was damaged by a three-day internet outage and dozens of people who were killed during violence in the run-up to the election.
But opposition politicians including Besigye who unsuccessfully challenged Museveni in three elections have always been harassed by Museveni’s officers. He wondered why the state deployed police to his home yet he was out of the country.
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