What you need to know:
Security forces guarding Bobi Wine's home blocked United States Ambassador Natalie Brown from reaching his residence last evening.
Amb Brown and her team
had travelled to Magere in Wakiso District where Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has been placed under de facto house arrest.
However, police officers and soldiers turned the two official diplomatic vehicles carrying the US diplomats away as they approached Wine’s home, with police spokesperson Fred Enanga later questioning the motive for the visit and America’s involvement in Uganda’s domestic politics.
“What role does America play in the politics of this country? Does the American ambassador have any personal attachment to Hon Kyagulanyi? That then raises even more suspicions, what was she going to do there?” Mr Enanga asked last night.
During campaigns, President Yoweri Museveni had labelled Wine a foreign agent.
In an email response to inquiries last night, US Embassy spokesperson Anthony Kujawa noted that “the purpose of Ambassador Brown’s visit was to check on Robert Kyagulanyi’s health and safety, given that he’s effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his property under the guise of providing ‘security’ that he did not request”.
But Mr Enanga, without elaborating, said they were deployed to restrain the NUP leader’s movements as a “preventive measure” following intelligence they received about planned riots and protests countrywide.
Wine’s confinement, however, is not a new tactic in the Ugandan government’s rule book used in suppressing political challengers who may want to challenge results of presidential elections in court.
On the day of voting during the 2016 elections, security grabbed then presidential candidate Kizza Besigye, who had alleged that the ballot was rigged, and placed him under house arrest for more than 40 days and freed him after the period for filing election petitions had lapsed.
The Supreme Court, however, upheld Mr Museveni’s victory when Independent candidate Amama Mbabazi, who performed dismally, challenged the poll outcome.
It is still unclear if Bobi Wine, who has declared his intention to challenge the results of last Thursday’s presidential election, will be contained at home for as long as Dr Besigye was.
The Monitor newspaper understands that the US diplomats intended to, among others, deliver groceries to the pop star's family. If true, it would have been an answer to clarion calls by activists on Twitter to foreign envoys in Kampala to re-stock supplies for the politician’s family after the area was kept off-limits to Ugandans.
Police, however, insist the family has not run out of food and that they are working with Barbra Itungo, Wine’s wife, to ensure no one starves.
Wine reiterated on Tuesday that his family is running out of food.
President Museveni, in power for 34 years, won last week’s presidential elections with 58.6 per cent of the vote while Bobi polled 34 per cent of the 9.9 million valid ballots cast.
Bobi Wine has disputed the results as manufactured, claiming, without providing evidence, that he won.
Report by Tabu Butagira and Derrick Wandera