Bobi Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi SSentamu, released a list of 243 people who allegedly got abducted by security forces. The singer turned lawmaker asserted that 3,000 of his followers got abducted and detained before and after the presidential election. Wine released the list of names, saying that was only the first part of a list of some of his detained supporters. His statement to the press pilled pressure onto the government to find those missing amid the rising tensions in Uganda.
Bobi Wine Disputes Presidential Election Results
Uganda saw a very tough presidential election this year, and tensions are still high in the country. President Yoweri Museveni won the election with 58% of the vote, according to official results. But Mr. Wine claims the results were fraudulent, and Museveni does not deserve to be President. Wine’s statements have caused worry in the country as some have predicted there might be chaos amongst Wine and the newly elected government supporters. So far, Uganda’s top court has agreed to hear a case in which Wine seeks to overturn Museveni’s victory.
While waiting to appear in court, Wine has been collecting diplomats’ statements and making newspaper reports concerning the specter of illegal abductions by state agents in Uganda. Wine suggests that Museveni is behind all the kidnappings. But the President dismissed the allegations in a national address he made. Museveni said the Ugandan army is a disciplined force that does not kill opponents in an election. Meanwhile, hundreds of mothers and fathers, and siblings are in tears in Uganda over missing their loved ones.
President Museveni behind Abductions
The President, however, acknowledged that he had deployed soldiers from a commando unit who killed people he described as terrorists. Museveni’s admission raised concerns that state agents did carry out extrajudicial killings in Uganda. Uganda’s local newspapers are flooded with pictures of alleged abductions by security personnel in vans without license plates. Most of the photographs show armed men grabbing their victims and throwing them into their vans.
Efforts to find most of those abducted have been in vain. A few people have been arraigned before courts of law, while others have been found dumped in jungles and others in remote areas miles away. When found, most of these individuals are in poor health and bear marks of torture.
The U.S. and European Union raise Concerns
The European Union and the United States have noted that Uganda’s election had many serious concerns. U.S. ambassador Natalie E. Brown cited concerns about extrajudicial detentions of opposition political party members. Also, the U.S ambassador raised deep and continuing concerns about the reported disappearances of several opposition supporters.
Museveni, now 76 years old, has defied all calls for his retirement by all means possible. He says Ugandans have elected him many times because they love him. But Museveni now faces a strong challenger Mr. Wine who has resonated with young people, including the Urban poor. Museveni sees Wine as a threat and seeks to disrupt all his chances of becoming President. Thus, on polling day, the president ordered the internet’s shutdown, and it remained shut for four days after the vote. Additionally, security forces abducted most Wines supporters and party officials during, before, and after the poll. But Museveni has dismissed all allegations concerning the election and has termed the recent election one of the most cheating-free since independence from Britain in 1962.