Calls for UN and and international protection as Bobi Wine the young ugandan presidential candidate of the NUP party,claims his life is in danger, hours after his close assistants who were shot by ugandan security remain in a serious condition in hospital.
Speaking to the press , Bobi Wine the young ugandan presidential candidate of the NUP, party, said they were diverted to rural roads away from the main roads and shortly after they were shot at. In a separate incident in Jinja footage shows bodies lying in the street, with claims that the police shot them and ran over a supporter.
This comes after the international community, the EU and US have issued statements condemning the violence. However, there are growing concerns that words are not enough given the daily increasing loss of lives while they stick to lukewarm words.
Uganda Police Shoot and seriously injure Bobi Wine’s close assistants Kato , Dan Magic and several others severely injured.
Live footage shows Uganda soldiers and police shooting at the hospital in Kayunga district central region.
Speaking at the hospital, Bobi Wine claimed that as he went out to speak to the soldiers and police shooting at them and supporters, his body guard Kato was shot in the eye while Dan Magic who usually sits in the car was shot in the face and mouth.
After the impromptu remarks to the press , Bobi Wine, proceeded to his scheduled campaign stops for the day in Jinja and Kamuli. As more and more crowds gathered and waved at him on his way, again Uganda security persons shot at the crowd.
Bobi Wine was on his way to Kayunga. Yesterday reports stated that five people were killed while others were injured by Uganda security entities. In a sharp exchange with the soldiers and various ugandan paramilitaries, Bobi wine appeared to allege and single out a senior officer Wabwire, as having been responsible for the loss of lives of unarmed innocent civilians who were by standers.
There were also live reports of shooting of live bullets and teargas at Mukono yesterday on the 30th November 2020.
Last week the presidential candidate Bobi Wine was denied access to hotels and spent the night on the street.
Bobi tweeted that, ‘our plan to spend the night in Hoima was frustrated as police blocked all roads. We drove to Migera but police under DPC Patience Namara and OC Byaruhanga ordered all hotels not to host us. We had to spend the night on the roadside, sleeping in vehicles! In our own country!!! On our way to Kyankwanzi via Hoima, all roads were blocked by police saying they had orders not to allow us through. We decided to spend the night in Migera but DPC Patience Namara and OC Byarugaba ordered all hotels not to host us. We’re now stuck and sleeping by the roadside’.
In a bizarre sequence of events, while gathering his team in a car park where they spent the night, Bobi Wine was abruptly interrupted by RDC Namara ordering them to leave the area immediately. After a sharp exchange she backed away.
A day earlier in Hoima he was reported to be under siege at his hotel at night, on the 25th Nov. 2020.
Bobi Wine tweeted that ‘they’ve followed us to our hotel and surrounded it- heavily armed military personnel, including non-uniformed ones travelling in a numberless military vehicle!’ Live reports stated that the hotel was under seige and isolated in a hotel in the western rural town of Hoima.
In another tweet 5:57 PM · Nov 25, 2020·Twitter for Android: Bobi Wine stated that,‘ Hoima, we were forced to use a very long route & arrived towards close of campaigns.The military yet again blocked us. They’ve followed us to our hotel and surrounded it- heavily armed military personnel, including non-uniformed ones travelling in a numberless military vehicle!’
EU issues joint statement.
This follows a statement by the powerful EU bloc in a tweet stated that: ‘Joint local statement on election related violence in Uganda issued by the EU Delegation together with the diplomatic missions to Uganda of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden as well as Iceland and Norway’. ADC in Uganda and 9 others 12:48 PM · Nov 26, 2020·Twitter Web App
Losses of lives mount
Unconfirmed official reports indicate that around 45, people have lost their lives after being shot by Ugandan security persons last week, as International community and global scrutiny intensifies. However in a speech at the rural town of Kiboga, a former rebel stronghold for the current regime, in its bush war years, Bobi Wine stated a rough figure of hundred shooting victims.
It all intensified on Wednesday 18th November 2020, when Bobi Wine was brutally arrested, while addressing a campaign crowd of supporters in the Eastern central district of Luuka not far from Jinja the source of river Nile.
Bobi wine had earlier spent over seven days campaigning across the northern part of the country visiting three districts in a day, due to the short time table imposed by the highly criticised Electoral commission. The commission is accused of not being in control of the electoral process.
A day earlier in Tororo a ruling party officer called Tanga Odoi, was accused of blocking Bobi Wine’s campaign. In a tweet an NUP spokesperson stated that, ‘It appears police is now under the command of a one Tanga Odoi, the NRM Electoral Commission Chairman. The impunity in this country is so sickening. We need A New Uganda!’
Another official, a woman called Kasule Lumumba, is alleged to have stated that, “The moment Bobi Wine comes back in Kampala, he should be detained and not allowed to move anywhere,” Kasule advises. “If he has managed to get all those people upcountry where we all expected that he had no support now what will happen in Kampala?,” she asks.
There were immediate spontaneous protests across the country which were responded to by killings, mass arrests (including some journalists and one was sprayed with pepper spray directly in the eyes) use of live bullets by the Ugandan Army, (UPDF) in concert with unknown persons, in civilian attire carrying guns, police and paramilitaries, some of whom were shooting randomly into crowds and in buildings.
Bobi Wine weeks earlier had been officially nominated, by the electoral commission on 3rd November 2020 as the official NUP candidate. While still on the premises he was violently attacked with his body guards and aides by a group led by a man called Agume(in picture below).
The United Nations, the United States and other entities condemned the jailing, violence and killing of innocent civilians. ‘’Political parties, actors and government leaders should work in a way that will ensure a peaceful election,’’ said Stephane Dujarric while addressing the press.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said the Ugandan government should respect domestic rights and stop brutality against her citizens.
Joseph Borrell, who doubles as the European Commission Vice president, said the loss of life in violent incidents in Uganda is saddening.
The United States
The United States’ Tibor Nagy @AsstSecStateAF, Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs in a tweet stated that, ‘The Ugandan lives lost this week and the resulting suffering of their loved ones was needless and avoidable. Ugandans deserve peaceful, credible and inclusive elections. (1/2) The United States deplores the violence that has claimed multiple lives today, and we extend our sympathy to the victims’ families and loved ones. We urge all parties to renounce violence, undertake good-faith measures to reduce tensions, and respect fundamental freedoms.
@AsstSecStateAF The violence, intimidation, arrests and the use of force against the political opposition this week undermines the right of all Ugandans to free and fair elections. We are watching and will weigh consequences for those responsible for violence and election irregularities. (2/2)’
An online international group called anonymous claims to have taken down the official Ugandan police force website. In a tweet, it stated, Anonymous@YourAnonCentral Nov 20 #Uganda: Anonymous has taken down @PoliceUg‘s website in response to recent violent government repression & killings. Anonymous calls for police to respect human lives & the freedom of peaceful assembly and protest. #UgandaIsBleeding #ugandanlivesmatter’
Ugandan Civil society, clergy and lawyers
In signs of increasing chorus of strong condemnation, there was uniform condemnation of the killings and shootings of civilians by Ugandan security personnel and paramilitaries. The church clerics in a summon called the events on the 18th Nov.2020 a violation of the Ugandan Constitution and questioned whether this was an attempt to subvert a free and fair election.
Chamisa, a critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, called out President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is seeking to extend his rule to four decades for entrenching his ‘dictatorial habits’ in Uganda.
‘’Dictatorship must go, young people must save and serve Africa. Real change is unstoppable, #PeoplePower,’’ read the tweet by Chamisa.
Uganda’s Kizza Besigye called for the release of Bobi Wine, urging the people to remain firm and take actions to end ‘captivity’.
His South African counterpart, Mmusi Maimane called upon the African Union chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa to urge his Ugandan counterpart, President Museveni to comply with the African charter on human and people’s rights and African Charter on democracy, elections and governance.
Uganda’s General Mugisha Muntu who is also a Presidential candidate with the Alliance for National Transformation party has paused his campaign activities until Bobi Wine is released and his freedom to campaign guaranteed.
When presented in court, two days later, Bobi Wine stated that, ‘I am not here because I committed a crime. I am here because I offered myself to lead Ugandans into ending 35 years of a dictatorship’, Today outside a court after being released he added that he is sad due to the killing of 37 people and arrests of around 500 who are still in Jail across the country. He made direct remarks that despite the killings, beatings they will carry on their quest to what he called the liberation of the country.
The court set conditions to 200 people in a campaign rally and procession not allowed before or after the campaigns. There are however has been strong criticism of the conditions set by the court as themselves illegal and designed to constrain the political campaign process and in contradiction of the freedom of association and expression. Other critics point to the incumbent party’s unfettered and unrestrained campaign processions without social distancing. Pointing out that the reason Bobi Wine’s rallies and his supporters are being attacked, is because of the huge support he attracts all over the country adding that the police appears more needlessly deadly than the Covid19 pandemic.
Speaking outside the court, after being released, Bobi wine was flanked with his legal team, spokesperson and spouse and scores of supporters who broke out into a song as they entered their cars.
In other developments on the same day, residents of the southern area of Kalungu demanded the immediate release of their NUP supporters who had neither been brought to court or given bail.
In response, the local police chief, Nsubuga chief indicated that those who test the resolve of the security services will face tough action.
Meanwhile in a press conference,Gen. EllyTumwine, a senior former army commander and bush war confidant of the 76 yr old incumbent, was widely condemned for his comments to the media that appeared to explicitly condone the killing of unarmed civilians.
Bobi wine returned home to the jubilation of supporters and well wishers.
He paid tribute to the deceased and those who have remained firm and pledged to continue with their campaigns.
Later, on Monday, 23rd November 2020, Bobi Wine tweeted that, ‘This morning we’re scheduled to be in Kyegegwa district. The police arrested many of our team members throughout the night. This morning, they have cancelled the venue which we booked to address our people from & are asking us to look for another venue!’
He later added, that, ‘in Kyenjojo, blocked from accessing town. Taken to a place deep in the village. We’re followed everywhere by teargas trucks, police pick-ups with soldiers, mini-buses which effect arrests etc. All meant to scare people, but PEOPLE are refusing to submit!’
Increasingly, opposition leaders, are claiming that the police are part of the the ruling government who cant be impartial in some cases alleging that the support is a explicit.
A statement put out stated that, ‘Summary of Uganda’s problem! An RDC (who is a public servant), has Museveni’s poster in the background & is ordering security on how to deal with the opposition. The same people are always organising rallies & processions for Gen. Museveni! Gives us more reason for LIBERATION’.
Bobi Wine was also blocked by police in Fort Portal and Kasese town where there was more blood shed. In Kasese police fired tear gas and bullets at crowds who were merely waving at Bobi Wine a distance from the road.
A young man and woman were maimed by the police shooting.
In a tweet, about the incident Bobi Wine stated that , On reaching the station, management informed us they got orders from Lt. Gen. Mbadi not to host us or they would face repercussions! WE SHALL OVERCOME!’.
In other developments socia media is alleging that local known ‘ gangster’-SOBI’ ( picture above) is trailing and threatening Bobi Wine supporters.
Other images show persons in civilian and outfit and motorbikes welding guns and shooting randomly during the protests.
After Kasese Bobi Wine continued to Bundibugyo where he held another rally.
Local reports indicate that the police ordered Bobi Wine around 15 Kms away from the town and banned people from wearing the red beret for the NUP.
Bobi Wine continues his campaigns in the central and western region of the country where he claims he is constantly blocked, his supporters shot at, killed and assaulted by what he says are ugandan security forces of various outfits.
These developments are causing serious concerns given that the country has a violent political history and has never seen a peaceful transfer of power from one president to the other. The incumbent who is almost 80 years old has been in power for almost 40yrs since 1986. He faces the stiffest challenge to date from Bobi Wine.