Two days before election, Uganda’s Bobi Wine says soldiers raided his home

Ugandan opposition presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine said soldiers raided his home on Tuesday and arrested his guards, two days before an election pitting the singer-turned-lawmaker against one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

Patrick Onyango, police spokesman for the capital Kampala, denied Wine’s home had been raided or that anyone was arrested, saying: “We were just rearranging our security posture in the area near his home, specifically removing some checkpoints.”

Campaigning ahead of Thursday’s vote has been marred by crackdowns on opposition rallies, which the authorities say break COVID-19 curbs on large gatherings. Rights groups say the restrictions are a pretext for muzzling the opposition.

At 38, Wine is half the age of President Yoweri Museveni and has attracted a large following among young people in a nation where 80% of the population are under 30. He is considered the frontrunner among 10 candidates challenging the former guerrilla leader who seized power in 1986.

While security forces have cracked down on the opposition at previous polls, the run up to this year’s vote has been especially violent. In November, 54 people were killed as soldiers and police quelled protests after Wine was detained.

Wine said the raid on his compound in Kampala and the arrest of his guards happened while he was doing an interview with Kenya’s Hot 96 FM radio station.

“I have to end the interview because I can see soldiers beating my security guards,” he said.

Wine also said a team member who works mainly as a mechanic was shot dead by the military overnight.

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