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Court orders military to lift siege on Bobi Wine’s residence

By Mercy Asamba | January 25th 2021

Uganda's opposition leader Bobi Wine.

A Ugandan court on Monday ordered the military and police to lift the siege on the home of opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, who says he has been held under house arrest since the country's presidential elections.

Wine first announced that he had been placed under house arrest on January 17 on social media, three days after the East African country went to the polls.

In his ruling on Monday, as reported by Daily Monitor, Justice Micheal Elubu ordered security operatives to “immediately vacate” Wine’s home or take him to an authorized detention centre if he (Kyagulanyi) has a case.

“Having found, as I do, that the restrictions imposed on the applicant (Kyagulnayi) are unlawful, it is hereby ordered that they are lifted. Consequently, order for the restoration of the personal liberty of the applicant hereby issued,” Justice Elubu said in a ruling read on his behalf by the deputy registrar Jamson Karemani.

Ugandan authorities had earlier claimed that they had confined the politician in his home since he was a danger to the society after he rejected the results that handed President Yoweri Museveni a sixth term in office.

But the Judge told the State to follow the law in handling the opposition leader.

 “Otherwise his continued detention at his home is illegal and an infringement on his personal liberties,” he ruled.

The singer-turned-politician had claimed that he had run out of food and his party officials were also restricted from visiting him.

A US Envoy who wanted to check on “his health and safety” was also turned away from the residence in a suburb in the northern outskirts of the capital. 

According to the Embassy, Ambassador Natalie Brown went to Wine's resident, because he was "effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence."

The embassy said that the January 14 vote was tainted by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of media and rights advocates and a nationwide internet shutdown.

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

Dozens of Ugandans were killed during campaigning - many were shot by security forces.

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