Ugandan government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo on Tuesday accused the US ambassador of breaching diplomatic norms and engaging in “mischief”when she attempted to visit confined opposition leader Bobi Wine at his home.
Bobi Wine has been under house arrest with a heavy presence of soldiers and police officers since he cast his ballot on Thursday in a presidential election marred with violence.
US ambassador Natalie Brown on Monday tried to meet with Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, and met with a line of police officers clad in riot gear who turned her away.
In a statement posted on the US Embassy’s Facebook page, the Embassy said “The purpose of Ambassador Brown’s visit was to check on Mr Kyagulanyi’s health and safety, given that he’s effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence,”
Wine came second in the presidential election which returned Yoweri Museveni to power for a sixth term, and has said he is cut off from his lawyers and party as the days tick by for him to challenge the vote in the courts.
Opondo said the attempt by Brown, who took up her post during Uganda’s fraught election campaign, was a sign that “she is up to mischief”.
The Embassy said Uganda’s election campaign had been”marred by the harassment of opposition candidates, campaign staff, and supporters, suppression of the media and civil society organization activities and a nationwide internet shutdown.
“These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy.”