Renowned musician and opposition leader in Uganda, Bobby Wayne, stressed Monday that last Thursday’s elections were “the most rigged in Ugandan history” and called on Ugandans and the international community to reject President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in power since 1986.
“General Museveni controlled this election. The numbers shared by the authorities are not real,” the presidential candidate for the National Unity Party said in a telephone statement to Efe from his home, where he remains withheld.
According to information reported by the Ugandan Election Commission on Saturday, President Museveni controlled the elections held on the 14th with 58.64% of the vote in his favor, while Wayne got 34.83%.
Since the official results were published, Wayne has remained under lockdown at his residence – some 15 kilometers from central Kampala – by the Ugandan security forces, who have prevented any action by the opposition leader.
Wayne said, “I am under house arrest, with more than 400 soldiers surrounding my house. Neither my wife nor I can leave our house, and we have run out of food, but no one can enter, even my attorneys are forbidden.”
However, the Ugandan army denied arresting Wayne, and according to military spokesperson Colonel Dio Akiki, he told Efe this weekend that it was an operation to ensure the safety of the famous 38-year-old politician.
“If we don’t allow anyone into Bobby Wayne’s home, it’s for his safety and for the safety of the people around the presidential candidate,” Akiki said.
Protests against possible judicial results and actions
Wayne, who has already been rejecting the official results since the first numbers were announced last Friday, believes that this was the “most rigged election in Ugandan history” and assured Efe that he would share “all the evidence that his team had gathered” once “internet connection was restored.” Banned since the night before the election.
The opposition leader said, “We will try these elections, even though we know that the judiciary has taken over General Museveni. Therefore, we are also examining other peaceful options, including non-violent protests throughout Uganda and around the world.”
Political tension raises concerns about events like the one last November, when at least 54 people were killed by Ugandan security forces as thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand the release of Bobby Wayne, who had been arrested.
“All the decisions we make within my party are taken as a group, they are collective decisions. Since I have not yet been able to meet the leaders of my party, we still cannot say clearly what our next steps are, but without any doubt we will inform the public about what we will do next.” “.
For his part, a spokesman for the Wayne political party, Joel Cignoni, told a news conference Sunday that “this is a revolution that cannot be stopped by rigged elections.”
Police sources confirmed to Efe that in at least two cities in Uganda, Masaka (southeast) and Luwero (center), there have already been sporadic demonstrations in recent days dispersed by security forces in operations that resulted in dozens of arrests.
Wayne, 38, started his political career in 2017 and quickly became one of the most critical voices of the government thanks to his dissenting speeches.
Museveni, 75, who is popular with older generations as a bastion of stability after 35 years in power, described Wayne and his supporters as “agents of chaos” who need to fight.
Indeed, the 2016 election – in which Museveni was re-elected with 60.7% of the vote – was described as rigged by the opposition, and observers from the European Union, the Commonwealth and the African Union have denounced irregularities and a climate of intimidation. Towards the electorate.