Ugandan opposition figure Bobi Wine was on Monday arrested while leading a protest against the detention of many of his supporters in the aftermath of the presidential election.
Police arrested Wine close a public square in the capital and then drove him back to his home outside Kampala. “His home is now surrounded by police and the military,” said Wine’s Twitter account.
Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper published a photo of Wine being taken away by police while he held a poster saying “BRING BACK OUR PEOPLE.”
“Don’t fight,” Wine told his supporters when armed police grabbed him and his associates while a charging crowd in the background repeatedly shouted his name, according to footage from the scene in downtown Kampala. “Don’t give them a reason.”
Wine has called on authorities to free hundreds of his supporters arrested before, during and after January’s presidential election in which he challenged longtime leader Yoweri Museveni.
Museveni recently dismissed allegations that his forces have illegally detained civilians, saying his army “is a disciplined force” and that his party “does not kill” its opponents. But he acknowledged that he had beefed up security ahead of the elections by deploying soldiers from a commando unit previously deployed in Somalia who “killed a few” people he described as terrorists.
Museveni warned in a televised address Sunday night that opposition supporters who allegedly plan to disrupt his inauguration in May face arrest.
Museveni was declared the winner of the Jan. 14 elections with 58% of the vote while Wine had 35%. Wine called those results fraudulent, citing cases of soldiers allegedly stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for people and chasing voters away from polling stations.