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Uganda Police 'Raid' Opposition Party Headquarters


Ugandan riot police patrol an area near the house of presidential candidate and singer Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, known as Bobi Wine, in the Magere neighborhood of Kampala, Uganda, Jan. 16, 2021.

A spokesman for Uganda’s main opposition party says government forces raided its headquarters Monday, a day after its leader vowed to challenge his loss in last week’s presidential election.

Joel Ssenyonyi told reporters that police have surrounded the compound of the National Unity Party located in a Kampala suburb and are preventing members from entering the building.

A police spokesman told Reuters news agency that NUP offices have been cordoned off for security reasons, but did not say if troops have actually entered the building.

Tensions have been rising in Uganda after the country’s election commission declared President Yoweri Museveni the winner of the 2021 general elections on Saturday over Wine, a singer-turned-lawmaker whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi.

The commission said Museveni won 58.64% to Wine’s 34.83% of the votes cast in last Thursday's balloting.

An NUP party official said Sunday it had evidence of “ballot stuffing and other forms of election malpractice” and that the party would “take all measures that the law permits to challenge this fraud.”

The incumbent president defended the process Saturday in a national address, saying the vote will turn out to be “the most cheating-free election” in Uganda’s history.

Wine’s party also said Sunday that the opposition candidate and his wife are unable to leave their home, with soldiers surrounding the entrance and barring his colleagues and journalists from entering.

“Everyone including media and my party officials are restricted from accessing me,” Wine tweeted Sunday.

Legislator Francis Zaake, a Wine supporter who in the past has been arrested and allegedly tortured by security forces, was given access Saturday, only to be stopped at the roadblock. He was then pulled from his car and beaten before being thrown into a police van.

Museveni, 76, has ruled Uganda continuously since seizing power in 1986.

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