UGANDA: BOBI WINE WIFE ‘ASSAULTED’, HOME UNDER ‘SIEGE’ AND FAMILY IS ‘RUNNING OUT OF FOOD’.
This has led to deepening URGENT CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS AND UNITED NATIONS TO ACCESS BOBI WINE’s HOME IMMEDIATELY amidst HEIGHTENED ACUTE CONCERNS FOR BOBI WINE AND HIS FAMILY’s LIVES .
In a desperate tweet on Sunday morning, a few days after the hotly disputed election, the leading Ugandan opposition presidential candidate, who claimed victory, stated that, ‘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)’
He remains incommunicado at his home in Magere as evidenced in another tweet where he stated that, ‘Everyone including media and my party officials are restricted from accessing me.@ZaakeFrancis was arrested outside my gate as he made his way to my house, he was badly beaten by soldiers. He is now in Rubaga hospital. (ADMIN)’
He told a press conference a few days ago that he had won the election ‘ by a far’ and implored Ugandans to reject results peacefully but with ‘contempt’.
HOME UNDER SIEGE
BOBI WINE FURTHER STATED THAT HIS HOME IS UNDER ‘SIEGE’, adding that HIS LIFE IS IN DANGER, after REGIME SOLDIERS AIMED GUN AT HIM AND JOURNALISTS INCLUDING JOHN SPARKS OF SKY NEWS.
The presidential candidate further claimed, in a tweet, that the military ‘had jumped over the fence and had now taken control’ of the home . Adding that ‘None of these military intruders is talking to us. We are in serious trouble. We are under siege’.
The siege was corroborated by multiple media reports. In a shocking revelation, Sky News’s John Sparks, stated that ‘ a soldier pointed a gun at him & the Ugandan presidential candidate’
In an interview with EYDER PERATA, NPR’s East Africa Correspondent, the presidential candidate said he rejected the fraudulent results and will use all peaceful means to resist the regime.
The UNITED STATES, issued a statement, stating that, ‘We are deeply troubled by persistent reports of fraud in Uganda’s January 14 elections, the Ugandan authorities’ denial of accreditation to election observers, violence and harassment of opposition figures, and the arrest of CSO members.
Coupled with authorities’ denial of accreditation to observers, Uganda’s electoral process has been fundamentally flawed. We warn against actions against opposition candidates or their supporters, those responsible will be held accountable. [2/3]
We continue to urge restraint and rejection of violence by all actors as Uganda’s election results are announced. The immediate and full restoration of Internet connectivity is essential. The U.S. response hinges on what the Ugandan government does now’
The United Kingdom, also issued a statement condemning human rights violations. Other world figures calling for action against the regime including the re-known writer Wole Soyinka, who said that , “I consider it a crime against the future … for initiatives like his to be stymied, to be brutalised,” Soyinka said.
The lack of an international response has emboldened repressive actions within Uganda, he said, “The first contribution that the international community can make, especially the African community, is to serve notice to Museveni that he will be treated like a pariah if he engages in skullduggery over this election. That he’s got to play by the rules and he’s got to allow the opposition a voice,” he said.
In another development, the online activist group, Anonymous claimed to have hacked Uganda government websites. In a post, it stated, ‘Anonymous hits the government of Uganda in response to ongoing internet censorship. #UgandaDecide2021 #DictatorshipMustFall’
BOBI WINE, made a formal announcement of what he called ‘fraudulent’ elections, and said that his home had been breached by the ‘military’ and that they were in ‘serious trouble and under siege’. Reports also indicated that attempts to reach his home were been futile as Hon. Zaake had been arrested and his wife had ‘been roughed up’.
In a press conference the morning after the election, Bobi Wine also stated that, he was ‘very confident that he defeated the dictator by far’ and called on ‘Ugandans to reject the blackmail’. He added that Ugandans must reject the blatant usurpation of ‘their will and voice’. Concluding that Ugandans should remain firm and confident that through this election they have spoken loudly and clearly’.
He added that in 22 districts his agents are on the run. The EU did not bother to send observers due to an apparent refusal to meet many of their preconditions. The United States Embassy issued a similar statement a few days earlier.
Bobi Wine gave another interview in his local dialect, Luganda where he repeated the same message.
In a tweet on election day, after the polls closed on election day, the 38 year old presidential candidate, stated that, ‘Hello Uganda! Despite the wide spread fraud and violence experienced across the country earlier today, the picture still looks good. Thank you Uganda for turning up and voting in record numbers. The challenge now is for Mr. Byabakama and the EC to declare the will of the Pple’.
Parallel reports, but unofficially confirmed results, from the NUP tallying stations, on various social media channels, appeared to suggest a result in favour of the NUP president Bobi Wine.
Earlier on election day, there were wide-scale reports OF BALLOT DELAYS, ARRESTS, ABDUCTIONS OF OPPOSITION POLLING AGENTS,SUPERVISORS AND KEY SUPPORTERS.
This led to even louder calls for the international community to stand with the 45 million Ugandans.
There are now serious concerns that the Ugandan Election has not been conducted freely and fairly. Circumstances that could eventually have favoured the almost octogenarian incumbent, in power, since 1986.
Earlier safety concerns before elections
The main challenger reported that both his wife and his phone were cut off. If true, this raised real fears for his safety and his ability to communicate to his supporters, family and the international community. In a tweet, Bobi Wine stated, that, ‘Like my wife’s, my phone has been blocked and I am unable to receive or make regular calls. I know this is to stop me from communicating to our agents and coordinators. I encourage you comrades to be vigilant as I try to devise ways of reaching out to you. #WeAreRemovingADictator. Conspiracy by the dictator & his biased Electoral Commission is in a new phase. A plot to rig is set, internet is completely shut down & media is censored. However, the pple of uganda are firm and nothing will stop them from ending this oppressive regime’.
The Incumbent in power since 1986 on an a day before the 14 January 2021 election interview with Amanpour of CNN
OPPOSITION LEADERS REACT
Another senior opposition party leader, warned of potential consequences of such actions by the regime. Mugisha Muntu stated that, ‘In Burunga Kazo, our coordinator has been arrested while in Ntungamo, a ballot box has been stolen. The regime is making it inevitable for Ugandans to not only distrust the polling process and results, but also everything “official”. This isn’t a road we should tread.’
Another independent presidential candidate was also quoted as having stated that, “I have just voted but look, after using the sanitiser, there is no evidence I have voted anywhere, you can tell the difference,” he said. “How do you buy ink pads bought from Nkrumah to defend elections, these are used for stamping documents when running a small company ….,” Mr Tumukunde added.
He is reported to have said that he would not concede.
Local Media reports
A local newspaper, the Daily Monitor, stated, that ‘Voting in the opposition stronghold of Masaka has been delayed this morning as the country goes to the polls.Despite delay in delivery of election material to polling stations, the Electoral Commission is yet to clarify if voting times will be extended’.
It added later that, ‘Hundreds of his supporters have been jailed without any charges being preferred against them while others have been prosecuted formally’. Such as in Bududa.
Election day reactions
Other commentators already judged the election as not free fair. Charles Obbo a prominent journalist, stated that, ‘#UgandaDecides2021 today, with social media shuttered. There has been no free, fair & secure election anywhere with a social media (& internet) blackout. So, people of the Pearl of Africa, be safe however you vote. DAY 3 of #WhileUgWasBlockaded’.
Another user tweeted : ‘#Kayunga Voting hadn’t started by 10 am over non functional biometric machines. One @PoliceUg officer per polling station in the villages but heavier deployment in towns. Huge voter turnout! People are staying after voting! #WeAreRemovingADictator #UgandaDecides2021'
An online popular handle @ekyootoNews , stated, ‘reaching indicate pre- ticked boxes are been delivered in kasali masaka. News reaching our desk indicate that the @UgandaEC has not yet delivered polling material in kampala’.
A local paper, the observer, reported that, ‘Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) and Democratic Party (DP) supporters in Kyotera were living in fear following the arrest of several campaign agents, strategists and supporters by unidentified operatives. Those allegedly arrested include among others; Sam Kiwanuka Lukyamuzi, Vincent Musajja, Sulaiti Kyambadde, Ronald Muwonge and Andrew Kawuma. Others have only been identified as Lusembo, Kasiita, Luyobya.The party officials say their members were arrested from their respective homes by unidentified security personnel on Friday, Saturday, Sunday last week and Monday this week. Charles Kirumira Lwanga, the Kyotera County NUP parliamentary candidate, says their members were picked up by armed operatives in uniform and some dressed in plain-clothes who were travelling in two numberless Toyota Hiace Drone vans who took them away’.
A local human rights organisation appeared to corroborate these reports.
‘It called on the international community while condemning the mass arrests, The People’s Human Rights Forum (PHRF) @UgandaHuman, stated that , ‘We condemn a massive arrest of innocent citizens in rural areas’.
Tensions and intimidation remained high as the voting continued throughout the day. But there also seems to be resolve, fortitude and hope to stand up to the killings, oppression and abductions by the regime.
The report was accentuated by reports like that of the shot Journalist Ashraf Kasirye being ‘brought from his sick bed at Rubaga hospital in an ambulance to cast his vote in Nansana. #UgVotes2021’