Uganda: Still under blockade, Bobi Wine lodges complaint against the State

The singer’s lawyers are pleading before the High Court of Justice in Kampala on Thursday to demand his release. President Yoweri Museveni’s main rival is still stuck at home a week after the presidential election whose results he rejects. It is a new legal battle looming for him.
A battle to get out of his home is what is at stake in this hearing at the High Court of Justice in Kampala. Bobi Wine’s lawyers are asking that their client be quickly summoned by the judge who must check the reasons for his surveillance and possibly order his final release or release on bail.
To do so, the lawyers invoke the protection of a “habeus corpus”, a legal term that recalls a fundamental freedom: that of not being imprisoned without trial or valid reason. Because officially, Bobi Wine is not under house arrest. That’s why his supporters find it hard to understand why soldiers are camped outside his house, and why he is deprived of all visits.
The action of his lawyers is precisely to oblige the authorities to explain the justification for this surveillance. Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga says it is a preventive detention because Bobi Wine risks causing public disorder by potentially galvanising his supporters to overturn the presidential results.
But Bobi Wine’s entourage accuses the authorities of maintaining the blockade to prevent him from going to the Supreme Court to file an appeal against the results of the presidential election. The deadline is set for Friday 29 January. We firmly believe this is all part of a conspiracy to prevent him from gathering the necessary evidence and preparing his appeal to challenge what we believe was a fraudulent election,” one of his lawyers, Benjamin Katana, told RFI. He cannot leave his home freely, he is deprived of all visits. ยป
After the hearing, the lawyers were able to visit their client and bring him food: they are the first people allowed to return to Bobi Wine’s home since Saturday. For the NGO Amnesty International, there is no doubt that the detention of the opponent is politically motivated, and the NGO calls for his release. The court decision is due to be announced on Monday morning.
For his part, President Yoweri Museveni made his first public tour since the disputed announcement of his victory. He arrived in the capital late Thursday afternoon. Many supporters had gathered to welcome him, all dressed in yellow, the color of his party. The head of state got out of his car only for a few moments to greet the crowd, and remind residents to respect social distancing to fight against Covid-19. Followed by a parade of motorbike taxis, brass bands and many militants, President Museveni then quickly headed to his home in the centre of the city.