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Bobi Wine petitions court over security siege at NUP offices

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The National Unity Platform party president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi WIne has petitioned the High Court seeking orders to compel security agencies to vacate the party offices in Kamwokya.

In his application filed before the Civil Division of High Court, Bobi Wine who is also the former NUP presidential candidate says he has since filed a presidential election petition challenging the victory of the President-elect Yoweri Museveni. However, he says that some of the evidence cannot be accessed due to the indefinite closure of the party offices since January 16, 2021.

Kyagulanyi has sued together with David Lewis Rubongoya, the party secretary-general and Joel Ssenyonyi the party spokesperson. They have filed their case against the Chief of Defense Forces General David Muhoozi, Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola, Commissioner of Police Moses Kafeero and the Attorney General.

They want the court to rule that the actions of security officers under the control of the security commanders in closing and blocking access indefinitely to the offices of NUP on January 16, 2021, to date constitutes an outstanding infringement of the right to freedom of association, right to a fair hearing, and the civic rights enshrined in the Constitution.

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Kyagulanyi adds that when he went to the party offices, he was denied access and was not told why the offices are under siege by the UPDF, LDU and the plain-clothed operatives.

The evidence before the court indicates that the security blocked all entrances to and from the offices and never allowed anyone to enter the offices in the process destabilizing the party business.

According to Kyagulanyi, since he was aggrieved with the decision to announce Museveni as the winner of the January 14, 2021, presidential elections, the party offices remain under the control of security, he cannot get part of the evidence to back up his presidential petition which is pending before the Supreme court.

“That the applicants can no longer carry on their business as leaders of a political party which is contrary to the democratic values and principles enshrined under the Constitution”, reads the affidavit in part.

Kyagulanyi and his fellow applicants allege that they have been subjected to inconveniences, mental anguish and emotional stress for which the respondents should be held liable.

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Through their lawyers of Pace Advocates led by George Musisi, the applicants now want to be compensated for the damages caused to them for the violation of their constitutional rights and pay an interest of 20 percent per annum on the awards as well as the costs of the suit.

In November 2020 following the raid at the party headquarters, Kyagulanyi filed a case stating that several documents including his signatures for nominations had been stolen by security and more than 20 million shillings also taken.

However, the UPDF spokesperson Brigadier Flavia Byakwaso defended the security actions saying that they were hunting people wearing attire similar to the ones that are a monopoly of the defence forces.

But that particular case was allocated to Justice Esta Nambayo who is set to hear it on March 22 2021.

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