US Ambassador Natalie E. Brown has been barred from visiting Bobi Wine, who is effectively under house arrest.
The Ugandan government spokesperson accused the United States of attempting to “subvert” the presidential elections last week after the American ambassador attempted to visit opposition leader Bobi Wine, assigned to residence since Thursday.
Former pop star turned lawmaker Bobi Wine, who came second with nearly 35% of the vote, rejected the results and accused his rival, President Yoweri Museveni, of winning by fraud. Bobi Wine has so far provided no evidence to support his claims.
The electoral commission, however, declared Museveni the winner on Saturday with 58.6% of the vote. Museveni, 76, has been in power since 1986.
U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown has been barred from visiting Bobi Wine at her residence in a suburb of the capital’s northern suburbs, the embassy said in a statement Monday evening.
The mission said Brown wanted to check on “the health and safety” of Bobi Wine, who rose to fame after years of chanting about government corruption and nepotism, the government denied.
“ Interfere in Uganda’s domestic politics ”
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said Brown had no business visiting Bobi Wine.
“What she has blatantly tried to do is meddle in Uganda’s internal politics, especially the elections, to overturn our elections and the will of the people,” he said. .
“She shouldn’t do anything outside of diplomatic standards.”
The sharp public rebuke to the United States from the Ugandan government is relatively unusual as the two nations are allies.
There was no immediate comment from Brown or the Embassy.
Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, on Monday appealed to “fellow citizens of the world” to help him while he had effectively remained under house arrest since Thursday.
The United States is supporting Ugandan soldiers serving in an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia and has donated approximately $ 1.5 billion to the Ugandan health sector over the past three years.
The United States and the European Union did not deploy election observation missions because Ugandan authorities refused accreditation and failed to implement recommendations from previous missions.
During the campaign, security forces regularly disrupted Bobi Wine rallies with tear gas, bullets, beatings and detentions.
They cited violations of laws meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus for these actions.
In November, 54 people were killed as security forces tried to quell riots that broke out in several cities after Bobi Wine was detained for alleged violation of anti-coronavirus measures. He was arrested several times during the campaign.
Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) rejected the results and said they plan to challenge it legally.
On Monday, security forces cordoned off party offices in the capital.