A joint Security Force made of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces and the Uganda Police last night vacated the home of former National Unity Platform presidential candidate Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine.
The move comes barely a day after the High Court in Kampala ordered for the immediate withdrawal of security forces in and around Kyagulanyi’s home in Magere, Wakiso District, where they have been camping since January 13. But this morning, when Uganda Radio Network visited the home located about one and a half kilometres off the Kampala-Gayaza Road, there was no visible security personnel around the 20-acre property owned by Kyagulanyi.
Instead, there was only one Toyota saloon car driven by security personnel who normally trail him. However, around the villages of Magere and Seeta, we found military and police patrol pickups full to the brim with soldiers and policemen patrolling the area. Security also maintains a roadblock in Magere trading centre although they are neither checking nor stopping vehicles moving to and from the area.
Prior to last night, soldiers and policemen in uniform and plainclothes had taken siege of Kyagulanyi’s home, disallowing anybody entering or leaving his home. On the side of the main gate, they had erected a roadblock at the start of the Freedom Drive about 300 metres from Kyagulanyi’s gate.
On the eastern gate, there was also another roadblock the same meters away from the house. There were also soldiers deployed along the perimeter wall that runs across Kyagulanyi’s property. When we visited this morning all these had been withdrawn.
Neighbours who spoke to us on condition of anonymity for security reasons said that by the time they went to bed, the soldiers were still around. “They must have left around midnight or so, because by 9 p.m. yesterday, they were still around,” said one neighbour. Another one said she was tired of soldiers turning her compound into a camping site.
“They are friendly people; for all the time they have been here, there is nothing I can accuse them of. But naturally, no one would want his home to be turned into a military barracks,” said another neighbour of Kyagulanyi.
The Electoral Commission on January 16 declared Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the National Resistance Movement who garnered 58 per cent of the valid vote against Kyagulanyi’s 34 per cent. Since then, Kyagulanyi was placed under house arrest to allegedly stop him from engaging in acts that undermine national security.
Today for the first time in over 10 days, Kyagulanyi will speak to the media at midday and will lay out his plans to challenge President Museveni after the disappointing electoral results.