Kampala – Uganda’s president-elect Yoweri Museveni has denied claims by former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine that security forces relied on his orders to brutalise and harass his supporters, saying he didn’t have “direct knowledge” of such orders.
Kyagulanyi recently dragged President-elect Museveni (NRM candidate), Electoral Commission and Attorney General to Supreme Court in efforts to annul the January 14 election.
The National Unity Presidential candidate claimed the poll was neither free nor fair due to alleged electoral malpractices, manipulation of the voter register and brutality of security personnel meted out against his supporters.
Kyagulanyi cited Security Minister Elly Tumwine publicly saying police have a right to shoot protesters dead if they “reach a certain level of violence”.
Commenting on November riots in which 11 security personnel were injured, Gen Tumwine told reporters in Kampala that “police have a right to shoot you and kill you if you reach a certain level of violence”.
“Can I repeat? Police have a right to shoot you and you die for nothing…. do it
at your own risk,” he added.
Kyagulanyi asserted that such threats of violence created an atmosphere of terror under which the polls were conducted.
“I have no knowledge of any discrimination against the Petitioner (Bobi) or any
of his supporters nor of any subjection of the Petitioner to violence and persecution. Further, I have not been accorded any preferential treatment by the EC, public servants, or members of the UPF and UPDF as alleged,” said Museveni through his lawyers.
“The Petitioner purports to attribute to me unspecified actions of violence and
persecution by unidentified state actors. That position is wrong.
Below is a slightly edited version of Museveni’s defence before the Supreme
I am the President of the Republic of Uganda and the President-elect of the Republic of Uganda for the term of office 2021 to 2026, the 1 Respondent in this Petition, and I swear this Affidavit in support of my Answer to the Petition.
On the 3 February 2021, | was served with the Election Petition together with
the Affidavit in Support of the Petition in this matter through my appointed
lawyers M/s K&K Advocates.
Upon being served with the Petition and the Affidavit in support the Petition, I
discussed the contents therein with my Advocates and in response thereto, I
the state as hereunder.
On the 16″ January 2021, the 2nd Respondent (Electoral Commission) declared
me the duly elected President of the Republic of Uganda having polled
5,851,037 votes being 58.64% of the valid votes cast at the Election which was
held on 14 January 2021.
I am aware that the 3rd Respondent (EC) caused the presentation to Parliament
of various amendment bills to the electoral laws and to the Constitution of the
Republic of Uganda and that the said electoral laws and the Constitution were
I have no direct knowledge of the various matters alleged by the Petitioner
(security forces’ alleged harassment of Bobi and NUP supporters). I am
however aware that in many instances during the period in issue the Petitioner
conducted himself in a manner that disregarded the law, COVID19 Rules, EC
Guidelines and the normal exercise of executive authority by state organs.
Prior to the election, in the ordinary course of executing my roles as President
of the Republic of Uganda, I met the Electoral Commission together with
members of my Executive principally to address the budgetary constraints that
the 2nd Respondent had brought to my attention.
I am aware that on 11 December 2018, the EC launched an electoral roadmap
for the electoral activities leading up to the General Election of 2021 and that
subsequently, intervening events happened as stated hereunder.
In March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared a worldwide pandemic
of the novel Corona Virus (COVID19).
In March 2020, the Government of the Republic of Uganda and upon the
advice of public health experts, declared a countrywide lockdown because of
the COVID19 pandemic. The lockdown entailed the limitations on a large
number of public and private activities save for work categorised as essential.
Among the limitations was a general ban on public gatherings.
The said COVID19 measures affected the original Electoral Roadmap issued by
the EC in 2018.
I also know that after the strict COVID19 measures were partially eased, the
2nd Respondent issued a revised roadmap for the 2021 Presidential Elections.
The revised roadmap did not have specific directions on the manner of campaigns. The EC subsequently issued Election Guidelines and took note of the restrictions under the rules issued under the Public Health Act for containing the spread of Covid19.
These included the restriction of public gatherings to persons not exceeding 70
at a time.
The Election was being held in the midst of a global pandemic and the
roadmap issued by EC was issued in accordance with the law, The roadmap
was reasonable and rational. It was not arbitrary. .
I am aware that on 18″ November 2020 the Petitioner was arrested and
subsequently charged with flouting public health laws relating to the COVID19
I am aware that the events that occurred on 18 November 2020 after the arrest
of the Petitioner were not a peaceful protest but a violent premeditated and
organized riot in Kampala and other areas characterized by evidence of central command and control, and coordination
In further reply to paragraph 67 and 68, these riots were characterised by
setting up of roadblocks, burning of tires, destruction of buildings and
property, looting, extortion, attacks on security personnel, undressing and
harassing members of the public and creating a general apprehension that
necessitated intervention of the security forces to restore law and order.