With only a day left to President Yoweri Museveni’s swearing in for sixtieth elective term, Ugandans have been left to guess why military has sealed off the home of his rival Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.
Armed to the teeth, uniformed and ununiformed security personnel comprised of military and police have captured all roads leading to Bobi Wine’s home in Magere, Wakiso District. The guess about the reasons for military presence at Bobi Wine’s home emanates from the fact that the latter was invited by the former to attend the swearing in on Wednesday this week.
Museveni through his personal political party the National Resistance Movement –NRM invited all presidential candidates in the chaotic January 14 elections. The electoral period marred with bloodshed show Museveni emerging the winner after scoring 58 percent while his closest nemesis Bobi Wine was given 35 percent.
“He [Bobi Wine] was invited by NRM to attend their swearing in. But it looks like the military doesn’t want him to leave his home. Was Bobi sarcastically invited? or it was a mockery to him by Museveni and his party?” one Lovinsa Nanzigo said.
In response, Army spokesperson, Col Deo Akiiki, said Bobi Wine is a person of a high status who needs to be guarded. Before joining politics, Bobi Wine was an already locally and internationally recognized reggae star. It is against such background that Col Akiiki explained to journalists that Bobi Wine is very lucky to have such a status and thus needs protection.
Police Spokesperson, Commissioner Fred Enanga, reaffirmed that heavy security presence in various parts of Kampala City is because of multi-layered security system they have established to ensure that Museveni swears in uninterrupted.
“…with several perimeters from the outermost to the innermost, jointly coordinated by all security agencies. These comprise of the UPF, UPDF, SFC, JIC, UPS and other agencies that form part of security,” Enanga said.
Museveni came to power in 1986 when Kyagulanyi was only 4years but he is currently his biggest threat to his seemingly personalized presidential seat. Although Uganda’s debt is over 65 trillion shillings and bigger than the national budget, Museveni still enjoys popularity in rural areas for restoring peace which was fragile during Amin Dada and Milton Obote regimes.
Enanga adds that although levels of preparedness are robust and advanced, they continue to assess their security plans, for hotspots and other high risk targets, with various tactical response teams in place.
Police, military have conducted massive drills on how to counter all forms of threats and vulnerabilities. The drills include how to counter armed attacks, massive demonstrations, aggressive and provocative behaviours against security personnel, acts of sabotage like blocking roads with logs, boulders and stones, burning tyres, deflating tyres, blocking VIP convoys and radical youth groups.
Museveni’s swearing is expected to be attended by 21 presidents and more than 40 other dignitaries from more than 100 countries. Security has been beefed up in various parts of Uganda mostly in Kampala.