After alleging election fraud, opposition faces persecution in Uganda

In the presidential and parliamentary elections in Uganda held simultaneously on January 14, long time president Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement were declared victorious despite multiple allegations of rigging

January 19, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Uganda elections
Security forces deployed outside Bobi Wine’s house. (Photo: Bobi Wine Twitter handle)

In the aftermath of the declaration of results for the January 14 presidential and parliamentary elections in Uganda, the opposition led by Bobi Wine has alleged facing renewed state oppression. Long-term president Yoweri Museveni was declared victorious on Saturday, January 16, by the country’s electoral commission amid multiple claims of rigging. Wine alleged on Monday that he had been put under undeclared house arrest. He also stated that the office of his party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), was surrounded and raided by the security forces after it decided to challenge the results of the presidential elections in court.

According to the electoral commission, Museveni won 58.6% votes while Wine, his nearest rival, came second with around 35% votes. Wine and his party have rejected the election results. The NUP announced that it is preparing a legal petition to challenge the result in court.

The police claimed have detained over 220 people over election-related offenses.

According to Wine’s official Twitter account, security forces are not letting anyone go in or out of his home or the NUP headquarters in Kampala. He also alleged that his party officials are on the run as they are being pursued by the security forces.

The run-up to the presidential election in Uganda was marred by state-led violence, particularly targeting Wine and his supporters. Wine was arrested twice during the campaign and his rallies were attacked by the security forces citing violations of COVID-19 regulations. In November last year, at least 54 people died in state action against protests organized to oppose Wine’s arrest.

The government suspended social media sites days before the election and blocked access to the internet in the country citing national security. The internet was partially restored on Monday.      

The UN and other human rights agencies had expressed concern about state oppression against the opposition in Uganda prior to the elections.