The High Court on Monday ordered police and military to vacate the home of former National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi, in Magere ,Wakiso District.
Mr Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine says he has been held under house arrest since the country’s presidential elections on January 14th.
He first announced that he had been placed under house arrest on January 17 on social media, three days after the East African country went to the polls.
“The judge ordered that the state and its agencies should immediately vacate his property and his right to personal liberty should immediately be reinstated,” his lawyer George Musisi said.
The singer-turned-politician had claimed that he had run out of food and his party officials were also restricted from visiting him.
The court also tasked state to produce information that Bobiwine is a danger to society and is about to commit an offence, it should follow the law, arrest him, take him to an authorized detention centre and later produce him in court otherwise his continued detention at his home is illegal and an infringement on his personal liberties.
Justice Micheal Elubu has also immediately restored the right to restricted movements to Barbra Itungo, wife to Kyagulanyi and the Attorney General must pay them costs for the application.
Earlier, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Anthony Wameli filed an application before High Court Civil Division saying, their client and his wife have been placed under illegal detention at their home by security personnel comprised of UPDF and police since the election day.
Ugandan authorities say Kyagulanyi can only leave his home under military escort because his presence in public allegedly threatens public safety. They are preventing visitors, including the U.S. ambassador, from seeing him. Police said, however, that eight lawyers were allowed to see Wine Thursday while the security forces maintain “preventive action and cover in the area.”
While lawyers argued for Wine’s freedom, President Yoweri Museveni was making a triumphant return to Kampala from his country estate, with stopovers where he waved at cheering crowds.
The detention of Wine has angered his supporters, who see it as an extension of the harassment he faced from security forces who frequently broke up his campaign events, citing measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Wine, a popular singer-turned-lawmaker, has captured the imagination of many at home and abroad in his generational clash with Museveni. Wine, who is 38, has called for the retirement of the 76-year-old president, a U.S. ally on regional security who took power in 1986. Museveni accuses Wine of being a foreign agent, which the opposition leader denies.
A losing presidential candidate has 10 days from the announcement of final results to challenge them in court.
Museveni won the Jan 14 election with 58% of the vote while Wine had 34%, according to official results. Wine insists he won and has said he can prove that the military was stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for people and chasing voters away from polling stations.
President Museveni has dismissed allegations of vote-rigging, calling the election “the most cheating-free” since independence from Britain in 1962. The East African country has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power one reason why even some within the ruling party publicly urge Museveni to preside over an orderly transition.