Uganda: Legal Drama Unfolds as Bobi Wine Challenges President Museveni’s Election ‘Win’ before a Court He Controls

Uganda’s Supreme Court has given the lawyers of Bobi Wine, until February 14, to file all the evidence that is to be used in challenging the announcement of President Yoweri Museveni, as winner of the 2021 Presidential Election, almost a month ago.

At the pre-hearing where the Court had expected the parties to agree on facts of the case that are not in dispute, lawyers of the musician turned politician, Bobi Wine whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, asked for more time to complete the submission of their evidence.

The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo also told Bobi Wine’s team to complete the process of serving the respondents on the same day the filing is to be done. The respondents who include President Yoweri Museveni who has ruled over Uganda since January 1986, the electoral commission and the attorney general have been told to have completed the filing of their response by Saturday, February 23.

The Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo who is hearing the case alongside eight other justices of the Supreme Court also says once all the evidence is in, there will be little time to make verbal arguments, as the Court must deliver the ruling on March 18, forty-five days after Bobi Wine’s first filing.  

As a result, the Chief Justice says the Supreme Court will largely depend on affidavits to decide on whether Bobi Wine’s case has merit.

Bobi Wine first filed the case challenging the announcement of President Museveni, as the winner of the presidential election on February 1, fifteen days after the Electoral Commission announced the winner. 

On January 16, the Electoral Commission announced President Museveni as the winner with 58 per cent of the vote, while Bobi Wine was announced as the runner up with 35 per cent, and the remainder was shared by the nine other candidates in the race.

This was the sixth time President Museveni was being announced as the winner of a presidential election in Uganda. In all the six elections, President Museveni’s opponents, especially the runners up have accused him of rigging, arresting and intimidating opponent’s supporters and in some cases prevailing over security that caused the death of opposition supporters.

Violent clashes erupted in the country after the arrest of Bobi Wine (C) DW

In the case of the 2021 General Election period, President Museveni, and the security under his command are accused of killing at least 54 people, who protested the arrest of Bobi Wine in November during the campaign period.

Security has also since been accused of kidnapping opposition supporters in the days before voting and afterwards with some estimates putting the number of missing opposition supporters at 2000.  

In addition to alleged ballot stuffing, Bobi Wine’s team accuses Mr. Museveni of presiding over the deaths and kidnapping of opposition supporters, which the singer says affected the outcome of the election.