Uganda’s electoral commission says it will report the results of Thursday’s presidential election within 48 hours, but tensions remained high Friday as President Yoweri Museveni seeks another much-disputed term and challenger Bobi Wine warns of continued arrests and interference.
Wine, a member of parliament and activist musician with the real name of Robert Kyagulanyi, said Friday that the military had surrounded and then entered his home as the vote tallies began.
“None of these military intruders is talking to us. We are in serious trouble. We are under siege,” said Wine in a social media message.
Wine had said Thursday that neither he nor his wife can use their phones amid a broader shut down of the Internet in Uganda. “I know this is to stop me from communicating to our agents and coordinators,” Wine said.
The Internet shut down also appeared to interfere with tallying the votes and manual ballots had to be processed at a number of polling locations instead, according to media reports. Early result reports showed Museveni in the lead, though Wine says he rejects them, adding that “despite the widespread fraud and violence … the picture still looks good.”
The battle between Wine and Museveni spans years, with Wine taking his MP seat in 2017 and remaining the most visible and high-profile challenger throughout Museveni’s successful bid for constitutional changes that allowed the 76-year-old to run for office again.
Tensions in Uganda and questions over the legitimacy of the election have attracted international concern, with the United States announcing Wednesday that it would no longer serve on the election observer mission. Ugandan officials denied more than 75 percent of the observer credentials the U.S. requested.
Image: Bobi Wine file