Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine has said police and military officers raided the campaign headquarters of his newly formed party, decrying what he described as the securities agencies’ “stinking” partnership with the establishment in the lead-up to general elections set for 2021.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, the pop star-turned-politician whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said the security personnel had taken away documents and other unnamed items.
“The military and police just raided our head office in Kamwokya,” he said, referring to an area in the capital, Kampala.
“They have broken into offices and taken away valuable documents and other items. Some comrades have been injured. The partisanship of security agencies ahead of the election is stinking,” he said.
We shall overcome✊🏿
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) October 14, 2020
The military and police just raided our head office and caused mayhem. They are taking all valuable items! Living under a dictatorship is such a tragedy. Resisting it is such glory. pic.twitter.com/B9T4ecdt7b
— David Lewis Rubongoya (@DavidLRubongoya) October 14, 2020
Bobi Wine was meeting other leaders of his National Unity Platform party when the police swooped in and cordoned off the area, according to party official David Lewis Rubongoya.
Rubongoya, who was at the scene, told The Associated Press news agency that the security officers confiscated items such as security cameras and supplies of red berets that are symbols of Wine’s popular campaign.
“They have taken away everything,” he said.
There was no immediate comment by the security agencies.
Bobi Wine, who has been arrested several times in recent years, has captured the imagination of many young Ugandans with his persistent calls for President Yoweri Museveni to retire. Since he expressed his presidential ambition, police and the military have repeatedly dispersed his rallies and beaten and detained his supporters.
Museveni, 76, has ruled Uganda since taking power by force in 1986. Critics accuse him of relying on the armed forces to stay in power. He is able to seek another term after the legislature voted to remove constitutional age limits on the presidency.
Museveni accuses Bobi Wine of encouraging young people to riot and has charged that people associated with him are “a misguided group being used by some foreigners to destabilise” Uganda.
Bobi Wine aims to end Museveni’s 34 years at the top of the East Africa country, which has made him Africa’s third-longest-ruling president.
His youthful age and music have earned him a large following in the relatively young country of 42 million, rattling the ruling National Resistance Movement party and drawing a security crackdown on his supporters.