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EU raises concerns over harsh treatment of Uganda opposition

By Betty Njeru | January 21st 2021
Uganda's leading opposition challenger Bobi Wine in Kampala, Uganda. [AP]

The European Union has expressed concern over the continued harassment of politicians and sections of civil society groups in Uganda after last week’s General Election.

In a statement, the EU called on the Ugandan government to probe any violent acts witnessed before and during the election and bring the perpetrators to book.

“In line with its laws, international commitment and obligations, the government must ensure that security services act with restraint, that any violations or abuses are duly investigated, and that those responsible are held to account,” it said.

The union also condemned the role of security officers during the election, which revealed acts of violence on opposition leaders, suppression of civil society actors and media and the raiding of domestic observers’ offices.

EU condemned the action by the government to shut down internet which it says denied Ugandan citizens and observers the right to expression and information.

“The EU calls on Uganda to respect the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful and safe assembly.”

The incumbent President Yoweri Museveni was declared winner of last week’s election, having secured 58.6 per cent of the votes.

His main rival Bobi Wine who has since rejected the polls got 34.8 per cent of the vote.

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Earlier this week, security personnel blocked the US ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown from visiting the opposition leader, Wine at his residence.

Ugandan police officers refuse lawyers of Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, from meeting him at his house in Kampala, Uganda. [Reuters]

Wine has been under house arrest for close to a week now.

Today, he tweeted: “For standing and defeating Museveni in an election, which he resoundingly rigged, I am still under house arrest 8 days later! I thank all friends in Uganda and abroad who continue to stand with us, until we put an end to this indignity. Uganda will be free.”

The US condemned Wine’s house arrest terming it a “worrying” sign.

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