Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine ‘under house arrest’

Opposition leader says police and military officers have deployed outside his home, barring him from leaving ahead of by-election campaign rally.

In March, Bobi Wine was arrested for leading a protest in Kampala demanding the release of his supporters [Abubaker Lubowa/Reuters]

Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine says security forces have surrounded his residence and put him under house arrest before a planned campaign rally.

In a series of Twitter posts on Tuesday, the singer-turned-politician, who has been arrested several times in recent years, said police and military officers deployed overnight had barred him from leaving his house in Magere, north of the capital, Kampala.

“The military has increased deployment around my home. No one is allowed to leave or enter,” Bobi Wine said on Twitter, accusing longtime President Yoweri Museveni of placing him “under house arrest”.

Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was set to campaign on Tuesday in support of an opposition candidate running in a by-election in the central district of Kayunga, where Museveni is also expected to hold a rally.

“Our security guard and gardener have been violently arrested and beaten,” Bobi Wine said, adding that they had been “bundled” into a police vehicle outside his gate and their phones confiscated.

Bobi Wine came second in a tense January election that returned Museveni to power for a sixth term. The vote was conducted under an internet blackout after campaigns where opposition candidates were routinely obstructed by police, and many people were shot dead by security forces.

Pre-election tensions boiled over during protests sparked by the arrest of Bobi Wine – one of many in recent years – and his two-day detention. Young men lit fires in the street and security forces killed at least 54 people.

Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform party has alleged that hundreds of his supporters were abducted by security forces in the run-up to the election – some were killed while others re-emerged weeks later showing signs of torture.

Following the polls, soldiers and police surrounded Bobi Wine’s property, stopping members of his household including his wife from leaving. A court ordered his release after 11 days.

Last week, two members of the armed forces were handed lengthy jail terms for their part in violence against protesters last year.

The United States had announced days earlier sanctions against the military intelligence chief Major General Abel Kandiho, citing his involvement in serious human rights abuses including beatings, sexual assault and electrocution.

In March, Bobi Wine was arrested for leading a protest in Kampala demanding the release of his supporters.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies