Uganda police raid offices of presidential hopeful Bobi Wine

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Armed police on Wednesday “besieged” the campaign headquarters of Bobi Wine, a pop star and politician who is seeking Uganda’s presidency in elections set for 2021, an opposition figure said.

Police confiscated items such as security cameras and supplies of red berets that are symbols of Wine’s popular campaign, David Lewis Rubongoya, an official with Wine’s party who is at the scene in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, told The Associated Press.

“They have taken away everything,” he said.

Wine, a legislator whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was meeting with other leaders of his National Unity Platform party when the police swooped in and cordoned off the area, he said.

Wine and other party officials have not been arrested, he said.

But in a Twitter post Wine reported that “comrades had been injured” after police “raided” his headquarters and seized documents and other items.

A police spokesman did not immediately respond to questions, but authorities frequently accuse Wine and others in the opposition of disobeying orders aimed at protecting public peace.

Wine, who has been arrested many times in recent years, has captured the imagination of many Ugandans with his persistent calls for President Yoweri Museveni to retire.

Museveni, 76, has ruled Uganda since taking power by force in 1986. Critics accuse him of relying on the armed forces to stay in power. He is able to seek another term after the legislature voted to remove constitutional age limits on the presidency.

Museveni accuses Wine of encouraging young people to riot and has charged that people associated with Wine are “a misguided group being used by some foreigners to destabilize” this East African country that has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power since independence from British colonial rule in 1962.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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