Uganda’s opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine tweeted the military forcefully entered his house after he earlier claimed he had video proof of fraud in Thursday’s presidential election.
Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine has said the military has “taken control” of his home and “we are in serious trouble," while the country waited for presidential election results amid a government-ordered internet blackout.
Wine tweeted the news on Friday just hours after he alleged that Thursday's election was rigged and said “every legal option is on the table” to challenge the official results, including peaceful protests.
He referred to himself as the “president-elect" rejecting incumbent President Yoweri Museveni’s early lead in the election marred by crackdowns.
“None of these military intruders is talking to us. We are in serious trouble . We are under siege," tweeted Wine, who was arrested several times during campaigning but never charged while dozens of party members were detained.
This month he petitioned the International Criminal Court over alleged abuses by security forces.
Wine has said he feared for his life, and campaigned at times in a flak jacket.
We are under siege. The military has jumped over the fence and has now taken control of our home— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) January 15, 2021
None of these military intruders is talking to us. We are in serious trouble. We are under seige.— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) January 15, 2021
Wine cries foul
Uganda's electoral commission said longtime President Museveni leads Wine and other candidates based on results from roughly half of polling stations, receiving 62 percent of ballots while Wine had 29 percent.
It said final results will be declared Saturday afternoon.
"I am very confident that we defeated the dictator by far. I call upon all Ugandans to reject the blackmail. We have certainly won the election and we've won it by far," he told journalists.
The 38-year-old former ragga singer turned politician has been the main rival to Uganda's veteran leader who has been in power since 1986 and is seeking a sixth term in office.
The internet remained down for a third day as vote counting continued.
"The people of Uganda voted massively for change of leadership from a dictatorship to a democratic government. But Mr. Museveni is trying to paint a picture that he is in the lead. What a joke!" said Wine.
Hello Uganda! Despite the wide spread fraud and violence experienced across the country earlier today, the picture still looks good. Thank you Uganda for turning up and voting in record numbers. The challenge now is for Mr. Byabakama and the EC to declare the will of the Pple.— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) January 14, 2021
He said the election was marred by "illegal, high handed actions which Museveni and his regime of blood have undertaken to set stage for the worst rigging this country has even witnessed."
He said he would detail the irregularities once the internet was restored.
The capital Kampala was quiet and some businesses remained closed, while soldiers and police patrolled on foot the day after the election.
Museveni is seeking a sixth term in office, having ruled for almost four decades, and his main rival among 10 opposition candidates is Wine, whose popularity among a youthful population has rattled the former rebel leader.
Oppressive security presence
Voting in Kampala took place under the security presence of soldiers and riot police in the streets and at polling stations.
The election followed of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media and scores of deaths.
However election commission chief Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said the vote had gone off in a "peaceful and tranquil manner".
Police spokesman Fred Enanga said there had been "no major cases of violence reported."
But a senior foreign diplomat told AFP there had been sporadic incidents of violence and many irregularities but no sign of mass manipulation.
The US, EU, UN and global rights and democracy groups have raised concerns about the integrity and transparency of the election.
Only one foreign organisation, the African Union (AU), has sent monitors, along with an AU women's group.
On Wednesday, the United States, a major aid donor to Uganda, announced it was cancelling a diplomatic observer mission after too many of its staff were denied permission to monitor the election.
Wine has vowed non-violent street protests should Ugandans feel the election was stolen.
Museveni has warned that using violence to protest the result would amount to "treason."
He has ruled Uganda without pause since seizing control in 1986, when he helped to end years of tyranny under Idi Amin and Milton Obote.
Once hailed for his commitment to good governance, the former rebel leader has crushed any opposition and tweaked the constitution to allow himself to run again and again.
And for many in the country, where the median age is 16, Museveni's glory days are no longer relevant or sufficient.
But the 76-year-old, one of Africa's longest serving leaders, has never lost an election and observers expect this time around will be no different.
His opponents, most visibly Wine, who spent much of the campaign in a bulletproof vest and combat helmet, were arrested, blocked from rallying and dispersed with tear gas throughout the campaign.
Two days of protests in November led to the deaths of 54 people.