By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Monday’s ruling by the High Court in Kampala has ordered security operatives to quit Bobi Wine’s home with immediate effec. This follows a petition by Wine’s lawyers who sought court order to force securing forces to vacate Bobi’s food plantations and flower gardens which had become both their toilets and ‘bedrooms’.
It should be noted that Bobi has not left his house in the outskirts of the capital Kampala since voting in the presidential election 11 days ago, in which he was declared runner-up to President Yoweri Museveni, results he has since rubbished.
The state argued it needed to prevent him from organising protests hence deploying troops around his home with several more patrolling the neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, Army spokesperson Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso has told the press that the security agencies will respect the court order but will ‘keep a kin eye’ on him.
If the security forces withdraw immediately, Bobi Wine still has at least four days to file a court petition challenging the result of the vote.
If he takes that route, the court must hear and rule on the petition within 30 days.
National Unity Platform officials had said that the way forward had not been mapped, as they were unable to access their party president.
In a Facebook Live address on Friday, Bobi Wine said that Ugandans had a right to protest if they so wished, though he did not outright call on his supporters to take to the streets.
He is not the first Ugandan opposition leader to be kept under home confinement. Kizza Besigye was kept under house arrest for more than two months after the 2016 election.
Following the 2011 election, Dr Besigye launched a series of walk-to-work protests, rather than challenge the poll result in court. They were all violently broken up by the security forces.