Uganda court orders security forces to leave Bobi Wine's home
Posted January 25, 2021 5:21 a.m. EST
CNN — The Ugandan High Court has lifted the house arrest of Bobi Wine after security forces surrounded the presidential candidate's home for ten days, his lawyer said Monday.
"The Court held that the freedom to personal liberty is too crucial that it should not be restricted casually or indefinitely," George Musisi told CNN over the phone.
Justice Michael Elubu, who heads the court's civil division, said that if the government had evidence against Wine, he should be charged in court and not "held unjustifiably at his home," according to Musisi.
Wine, a popular singer, was the main opposition frontrunner in the presidential elections held on January 14 and his home has been surrounded by military and police since the elections ended.
Wine posted on Twitter last week that no one has been allowed to visit them and he was stuck at his home with his wife, Barbara, and her 18-month-old niece with no food.
His wife's niece was later "safely evacuated" Wine told CNN after lawyers were briefly allowed in to remove her.
Soldiers remain at the compound and Uganda's military has a "history of defying court orders," Musisi said. He added that they would petition the court for each soldier that remains to be held in contempt.
A spokesperson for the Uganda Police Force said the officers still at Wine's home will vacate the premises.
"We are a law-abiding institution and do respect the High Court ruling," he told CNN on Monday.
Uganda's longtime leader President Yoweri Museveni was declared winner of the elections for a record sixth term by the country's electoral commission.
Wine rejects the election results, saying he has evidence of fraud and intimidation.
Wine's team will decide in the next 24 hours whether they will appeal the results of the elections. Wine's team had hoped to decide sooner, but have been unable to meet because of the house arrest, Musisi added.
The deadline to do so is on February 2.
Museveni's senior press secretary, Don Wanyama, said on Saturday that Wine has no evidence vote rigging took place.
"Uganda has processes. Evidence of rigging is tabled before the courts, not CNN," he added.