KAMPALA, 16 February 2021 – Ugandan pop artist turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, alias Bobi Wine, on Monday released a list of 243 people reportedly abducted by government forces.
Wine said on Twitter that he has hundreds of other names that his team is verifying before publication.
The persons listed reportedly “disappeared” during the runup to the January 2021 presidential election in the country.
Scores of government critics were reportedly picked up, detained and never heard from since that time.
At least 54 people were shot dead last September over a two-day period during which street protests were multiplied, following the arrest of Bobi Wine.
Last Saturday in a televised address, President Yoweri Museveni, blamed security agencies for the people reported missing, calling them “terrorists”, who were planning anarchy in the country.
Museveni said the missing people were arrested by either the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, the intelligence wing of the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces, or by the commando units.
The Ugandan leader called for their names to “be made public so that this talk of disappearance is answered”.
Wine said of Museveni’s televised address that the president is simply trying to downplay the abductions and push a narrative that all is well, even when families nationwide are in tears over their missing loved ones.
Ugandan security forces have not released the list of persons they arrested and detained during the runup to the election.
The country’s electoral commission declared Museveni winner of the presidential election with about 59 percent of the votes cast.
Bobe Wine was runner-up with about 35 percent of the votes cast.
Wine has contested the election outcome, petitioning the country’s top court to throw the results out on allegations of fraud.
Last Tuesday, Bobe Wine suffered an early setback in the case when his petition challenging the results was dismissed, with an invitation for him to amend the suit to include new grounds.