A Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo on Tuesday said the US Ambassador Natalie E Brown had no business visiting Bobi Wine.
A Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo on Tuesday accused the United States of trying to block last week’s presidential election following a US ambassador’s attempt to see opposition leader Bobi Wine under house arrest.
- The US supports Ugandan soldiers serving in an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
- It has donated about $1.5 billion to Uganda’s health sector over the past three years.
- Spokesman Ofwono Opondo said ambassador Brown had no business visiting Bobi Wine.
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Shortly after voting in Thursday’s presidential election, the military surrounded the home of pop star legislator Bobi Wine or Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
Yoweri Museveni, a 76-year-old incumbent who has been in power since 1986, was declared the winner of the Jan.14 elections with 59% of the vote against Wine 35%.
The sharp, public outcry from the Ugandan government to the United States is relatively unusual because the two countries are allies. The United States supports Ugandan soldiers serving in an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia and has donated about $1.5 billion to Uganda’s health sector over the past three years.
The embassy said in a statement late Monday that security had stopped U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown coming to his home in Magere, a suburb north of the capital, Kampala.
The government denies that Brown wants to check on the “health and safety” of Kyagulanyi. Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said ambassador Brown had no business visiting Bobi Wine.
“What she is trying to do bluntly is to interfere in Uganda’s internal politics, especially elections, and destroy our elections and the will of the people,” he said.
“She should not do anything outside the rules of diplomacy.”
There was a record in the countries where she worked in the past that Brown was causing trouble, Opondo said, adding that the government was taking care of itself.
No immediate feedback was received from Brown or the embassy. The embassy said the vote last week was marred by harassment of opposition candidates, repression of media and rights supporters and a nationwide internet shutdown.
“These illegal activities and the effective house arrest of the presidential candidate continue to be a worrying trend in the course of democracy in Uganda,” it said.
The United States and the European Union did not appoint observer missions to the Jan.14 elections because Ugandan officials refused accreditation and failed to implement recommendations of past observations.
During the campaign, security forces routinely broke up wine rallies with tear gas, bullets, batons and guards. They cited violations of the law to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to those activities.
At least 54 people have been killed after security forces thwarted a protest in November after Bobi Wine was detained for allegedly violating coronavirus control measures.
Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) have rejected the results and said they plan a court challenge.
On Monday, security forces cordoned off the party’s offices in the capital. The party aims to complicate its efforts to gather evidence of election irregularities.