Uganda has been under the world’s radar right from the build-up to, during and now after the country’s 2021 general elections which took place exactly a week ago on Thursday, January 14, 2021.
The internet was shut down, social media was blocked; dozens of people have been arrested, beaten and killed so far.
Eleven candidates ran for president, one of whom was a woman, Nancy Kalembe. However, 38-year-old pop singer turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known by his stage name Bobi Wine was the main contender challenging incumbent and long-serving president, Yoweri Museveni, 76, in the East African country.
Now eight days later after Ugandans went to the polls characterized by intimidation and police and military brutality, Bobi Wine, leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party, is still being held captive in his home by the Ugandan Military together with his wife and an 18 months old baby.
“Day Six under house arrest and we’re still stuck with an 18 months old baby who had paid a visit to her auntie (my wife) be4 we were raided & besieged. The Dad has been denied access to her. We have run out of food and milk. No one is allowed to leave or come into our compound.” Bobi tweeted two days ago.
Providing an update, Bobi Wine tweeted this morning, January 21, “Yes, for standing and defeating Gen. Museveni in an election, which he resoundingly rigged, I am still under house arrest 8 days later! I thank all friends in Uganda and abroad who continue to stand with us, until we put an end to this indignity. Uganda will be free.”
Four days ago, Bobi said they had run out of food supplies.
“It’s now four days since the military surrounded our home and placed my wife and I under house arrest. 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. (ADMIN)”
On January, Bobi Wine said the US Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie E. Brown, attempted to visit him in his home detention but was refused by the soldiers. “This afternoon, the US Ambassador to Uganda made an effort to visit me but was turned away from my gate by the soldiers who have held me and my wife captive for the past five days.”
As opposition candidate, Bobi Wine has suffered intimidation, arrest, police and military obstruction and shooting of guns on his campaign trail.
According to reports, his vehicle was fired at and a bullet was shot through the windscreen narrowly missing an occupant in December last year. Bobi Wine is reported to have said that he thought his life was in danger.
He started wearing a bullet-proof vest and protective helmet during his campaign.
The Electoral Commission of Uganda declared Mr Museveni winner of the January 14 presidential contest. But some candidates including Bobi Wine have rejected the outcome.
Mugisha Muntu, Presidential Candidate of The Alliance for National Transformation described the results by the EC as fabricated.
“Like I said, it’s time to turn the page and engage in the next stage of the struggle. We will not live like serfs in our own country. These results are completely fabricated.”
Yoweri Museveni, the only remaining dictator in East Africa, has been president since 1986. By his recent election, Mr. Museveni is now serving his sixth term in office as president. The 76-year-old leader will be working with his seventh American president in President Joe Biden.
Aside choosing a president to lead ‘The Pearl of Africa’ for the next 5 years (2021 – 2026), parliamentary elections also saw the election of 529 MPs into the Parliament to represent the 45 million Uganda people.
There has never been a peaceful transfer of power in Uganda before.