Skip to main content

Opposition presidential challenger Bobi Wine speaks to the media outside his house, in Magere, Uganda, on Jan. 26, 2021.Nicholas Bamulanzeki/The Associated Press

A lawyer for Bobi Wine says Ugandan soldiers have withdrawn from the opposition presidential challenger’s home the day after a judge ruled that his house arrest was unlawful.

But lawyer George Musisi told the Associated Press that security forces could still be seen in the village near the candidate’s property outside the capital, Kampala.

“They have gone for now,” he said. “Of course [the candidate] hasn’t yet stepped outside the house. We don’t know what will happen.”

The popular singer-turned-opposition figure was meeting officials with his National Unity Platform party at his home on Tuesday, a holiday in Uganda that marks the day that rebels led by President Yoweri Museveni took power 35 years ago.

A police helicopter hovered over the area, according to local broadcaster NTV.

The candidate, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has been unable to leave his home since the Jan. 14 election. Ugandan authorities have said he can only leave his home under military escort because they fear his presence in public could incite rioting.

Police told reporters on Monday they would pull away from his residence but keep surveilling the area.

Mr. Museveni was declared the winner of the election with 58 per cent of the vote while Mr. Wine had 34 per cent. The opposition leader insists he won and has said he can prove that the military was stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for people and chasing voters away from polling stations.

Mr. Wine has accused Mr. Museveni of staging a “coup” in the election and urges his supporters to protest his loss through non-violent means.

But he has suggested he might not go to court to challenge the official results because of concerns a possible loss there would validate Mr. Museveni’s win.

Uganda’s election was marred by violence ahead of polling day as well as an internet shutdown that remained in force until four days after the vote. Social-media sites remain restricted.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.