Uganda slams US meddling after envoy’s bid to visit defeated opposition figure
Uganda has charged the United States with attempting to subvert last week’s presidential polls after the American ambassador to the country attempted to visit an opposition leader under house arrest.
“What she has been trying to do blatantly is to meddle in Uganda’s internal politics, particularly elections, to subvert our elections and the will of the people,” Uganda’s government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said on Tuesday, referring to US Ambassador to Kampala Natalie Brown.
“She shouldn’t do anything outside the diplomatic norms,” Opondo emphasized, further noting that Brown had a track record of causing trouble in countries where she had worked in the past and insisting that the government was watching her.
The development came after government authorities prevented Brown from visiting with pop star-turned-legislator Bobi Wine — whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi — at his residence in suburban Kampala on Monday.
According to a statement by the US Embassy, Brown wanted to check on the “health and safety” of Wine.
Government forces cordoned off Wine’s house shortly after he cast his ballot in Thursday’s presidential election.
There was no immediate comment from Brown or the US Embassy.
Troops raid opposition party offices amid poll challenge
Meanwhile, Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP) political party also accused government forces of raiding its headquarters on Monday amid efforts by its staff to launch a legal challenge against President Yoweri Museveni’s re-election in the poll.
The opposition leader demanded that the military release him from house arrest, saying his home in the capital of Kampala was not a legally recognized detention center. He further alleged that government troops had assaulted his spouse.
Moreover, police spokesman Patrick Onyango announced that opposition National Unity Platform (NUP)’s office had been cordoned off for security reasons.
Uganda’s electoral commission declared incumbent Museveni the winner of the January 14 election on Saturday, sparking protests. Wine, a pop star-turned-legislator, came second and claimed Museveni had won by fraud.
Following the polls, in which voters were also electing members of parliament, Wine’s NUP secured 61 seats. Five other opposition parties won 48 seats, giving opposition lawmakers a total of 109 seats in the next legislature, compared to 316 won by the ruling party, according to a government statement released on Monday.