Uganda accused the U.S. of meddling in “internal politics” on Tuesday after security personnel blocked the U.S. ambassador from visiting musician-turned-opposition-leader Bobi Wine at his home this week, according to a report.
U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown attempted to check on the “health and safety” of Wine, who has been under house arrest at his residence in the northern outskirts of Kampala — the capital of Uganda — since last week, the embassy said in a statement on Monday, according to Reuters.
The house arrest came after Wine cast his ballot in the country’s presidential elections. He dismissed the results as “cooked-up” and “fraudulent.”
“What she [Brown] has been trying to do blatantly is to meddle in Uganda’s internal politics, particularly elections, to subvert our elections and the will of the people,” Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo alleged. “She shouldn’t do anything outside the diplomatic norms.”
The nation’s electoral commission said Incumbent Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has been in power since 1986, received 58% of ballots against Wine’s 35%. Voter turnout was 52%, which, Tibor Nagy, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, called “fundamentally flawed.”
Wine had previously said he was alone with his wife, Barbie, and a single security guard after police told a private security company to withdraw its protection ahead of the election on Thursday. AP journalists who previously tried to reach Wine’s home were turned away by police.
On the eve of the vote, Wine declared that “the world is watching.” Afterward, he said “I don’t know what will happen to me and my wife” now. Wine added that he won’t leave Uganda and abandon its 45 million people.
The mission called his house arrest a “worrying” sign.
The vote followed the country’s worst pre-election violence since Museveni took office more than three decades ago.
In November, more than 50 people were killed as security forces quelled riots that erupted after Wine was detained for alleged violation of the anti-coronavirus measures.
According to the news organization, the campaigning security forces routinely broke up Wine’s rallies with teargas, bullets, beatings, and detentions.
Following the vote, Wine said that all legal options are being considered, including challenging the results of the election in court. Security forces closed off the National Unity Platform (NUP) party offices in the capital on Monday, which the party said was impacting their efforts put together evidence of election irregularities, according to Reuters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report