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U.S. Envoy Blocked at Bobi Wine’s Residence

Security has blocked United States Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown from accessing the residence of former Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.

Brown on Monday drove to Bobi’s house in Magere, Wakiso District only to meet military and police personnel at the gate.

She was told in no uncertain terms that she could not meet Bobi.

“U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown attempted to visit presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi at his residence on January 18, but was denied access by Ugandan security forces,” the U.S. Mission in Kampala said in a statement.

Natalie E. Brown
Natalie Brown

“The United States regularly meets with actors across Uganda’s political spectrum as part of its diplomatic engagement.  The purpose of Ambassador Brown’s visit was to check on Mr. Kyagulanyi’s health and safety, given that he’s effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence,” the statement further read.

The singer-turned-politician recently sent his children to United States, saying he was fearing for their lives.

Ugandan musician turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine arrives at the news conference at his home in Kasangati, Kampala, Uganda July 24, 2019. REUTERS/James Akena - RC148E394100
Ugandan musician turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine arrives at the news conference at his home in Kasangati, Kampala, Uganda July 24, 2019. REUTERS/James Akena – RC148E394100

The development comes against the backdrop of strained relations between Ugandan government officials and Brown, who has been critical of the establishment since her deployment in Kampala late last year.

Bobi Wine, who lost in the Thursday election polling 34.83% votes against incumbent Yoweri Museveni’s 58.64%, remains confined in his house in Magere with police and the army surrounding it.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said they decided to take action after receiving intelligence that Bobi Wine and his party were mobilizing supporters from different parts of the country to come to Kampala and stage violent protests.

The protesters, according to Enanga, had been mobilized from places such as Jinja, Mityana, Luwero, Kasese and Mbale.

“In all this, we know that Mr Kyagulanyi was the main planner and that’s why we are controlling those who are entering and leaving his house,” he said.

Bobi Wine himself, Enanga said, is not under house arrest.

Enanga said the security presence will be maintained at the residence and the whole of Magere and Kasangati area until such a time when the threat of violence is deemed minimal.

INTERFERENCE

President Museveni has maintained western elements were not only meddling in Uganda’s internal election but seeking to destabilize the East African country.

The U.S. has since called for an independent investigation into Uganda’s election, saying the polls were marred by the harassment of opposition candidates, campaign staff, and supporters; suppression of the media and civil society organization activities; and a nationwide internet shutdown before, during, and after voting day.

“These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest of a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy,” said the U.S.

However, the East African Community observers and the European Union hailed the election as largely peaceful.

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