Thursday, January 21, 2021 | ePaper

Tanks appear in Kampala as Uganda tightens security before polls

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The upcoming polls have been clouded by uncertainty and already marred by violence.

Al Jazeera :
A convoy of armoured military vehicles menacingly passes through the capital every so often in a show of force.
Uganda People's Defence Force soldiers, police and the local defence unit comprised of civilians trained and armed by the government to help beef up security have also been patrolling the city on foot, mainly in areas perceived to be opposition strongholds.
The polls have been clouded by uncertainty and already marred by violence.
Robert Kyagulanyi, 38, a musician-turned-politician better known as Bobi Wine, is among 10 candidates challenging President Yoweri Museveni's 35 years in power.
Bobi Wine has mobilised many young people who were previously not involved in politics to come out to vote. He and his supporters have suffered the brunt of Uganda's notorious security forces that have been accused by human rights groups of using excessive force to break up opposition rallies and demonstrations during the campaign period.
Bobi Wine has been arrested multiple times, often prevented from attending his rallies, and some of his election team members have killed, disappeared or detained.
He told Al Jazeera he is living in constant danger.
"That is why I've been wearing a flak jacket and ballistic helmet all through the campaign. I have survived gunshots three times. The police and military have fired live bullets at my car, flattening the tyres, and one time a bullet was shot directly in the windscreen," he said.
Hajara Nakito, a clothes seller in one of Kampala's suburbs, described an atmosphere of tension and fear.


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