Ugandan presidential hopeful Bobi Wine resumes campaign, claims threat to his life

Bobi Wine is the main contender against long-serving incumbent president Yoweri Museveni in the upcoming presidential elections in January. He had suspended his campaign on Tuesday after his team was attacked by security forces in a village near Kampala

December 04, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Uganda Bobi Wine resumes campaign
Bobi Wine met electoral commission chairperson Simon Byabakam on December 2. (Photo: Kampala Post)

On December 3, Thursday, Uganda’s singer-turned politician Bobi Wine resumed his campaign for the upcoming presidential elections in January, after temporarily suspending it following an attack on his campaign team by the security forces which left several of his team members injured. Wine had suspended his campaign on Tuesday after his team was attacked in a village near Kampala.

He resumed his campaign on Thursday dressed in battle gear with a helmet and a bullet proof jacket, claiming danger to his life.

The authorities’ crackdown on his campaign team allegedly came for violating COVID-19 guidelines as per which not more than 200 people are allowed to gather. Uganda’s electoral commission chairperson Simon Byabakam issued a statement saying that some candidates were violating standard operating procedures and holding their rallies at non-designated places.   

Talking to media persons after the attack, Wine said that he is suspending his campaign until further notice and going to the electoral commission’s headquarters to find out the reasons for the “torture by the security institutions”, claiming that his “campaign is affected by police brutality”.

Wine met Byabakam on Wednesday, and according to reports, was provided with a security team by the electoral commission.

38-years-old Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is the main contender against long-serving president Yoweri Museveni (76) in the upcoming presidential elections.  President Museveni and his National Resistance Movement party have been in power in Uganda since 1986. The constitution wasamended to allow him to run for the sixth time in the 2021 elections. Supporters of Wine claim that state authorities are collaborating to ensure Museveni’s victory, and therefore harassing Wine. Wine too has claimed attempts on his life on several occasions.

Wine has been arrested several times since he announced his decision to contest the elections. He was arrested last month while campaigning for allegedly violating the COVID-19 guidelines about the number of people in popular gatherings. In the ensuing violence unleashed by the security personnel on the people demonstrating against his arrest, at least 54 people were killed and scores of others were injured.

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