A Violent and Fraught Election in Uganda Leaves Challenger Bobi Wine Under House Arrest

On January 14th, Uganda held national elections for president and parliament. The incumbent was the 76-year-old Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986. His main challenger was a 38-year-old music star turned politician who goes by the stage name Bobi Wine.

In the 6 days between the election and the time I’m recording this, Yoweri Museveni has declared victory and his security forces are laying siege to Bobi Wine and his family, having encircled his compound and placing them under de-facto house arrest.

International observers were largely blocked from Uganda during the election and the internet was cut throughout the country on election day. Needless to say, the election results lack a degree of credibility.

On the line to help me understand the current state of play of the fraught election and its aftermath in Uganda is Rosebell Kagumire. She is a writer and editor at a the publication African Feminism and I caught up with her from Kampala, Uganda.

We kick off with a brief discussion of the current state of play of the volatile situation in Uganda. She then discusses how the unique biography of Bobi Wine makes him such a compelling figure to challenge the decades long hold on power of Museveni and the ruling class. We also discuss how international pressure may be required to hold Museveni to democratic norms.

We are discussing a rapidly evolving situation, but this episode will give you some of the context you need to understand events in Uganda as they unfold.

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