Uganda accuses US of ‘subverting’ presidential election

The mission said Brown wanted to check on the “health and safety” of Wine, who became famous after years of singing about government corruption and nepotism, charges the government denies.

The former pop star-turned-legislator, who came second with almost 35 percent votes, rejected the results and accused his rival, President Yoweri Museveni, of winning by fraud. Wine has so far provided no evidence to support his allegations.

The electoral commission, however, on Saturday declared Museveni the winner with 58.6 percent of the vote. Museveni, 76, has been in power since 1986.

On Tuesday, Wine’s lawyers filed a petition in the high court challenging the legality of detaining Wine and his wife without charge. The court has not yet said when the petition will be heard, lawyer Benjamin Katana told Reuters news agency.

‘Meddle in Uganda’s internal politics’

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said Brown had no business visiting Wine.

“What she has been trying to do blatantly is to meddle in Uganda’s internal politics, particularly elections, to subvert our elections and the will of the people,” he said. “She shouldn’t do anything outside the diplomatic norms.”

The sharp, public rebuke to the US from the Ugandan government is relatively unusual as the two nations are allies.

Kristof Tetica, a professor of international development at the University of Antwerp, noted Museveni’s relations with the international community took a turn for the worse since November, when the president blamed anti-government demonstrations on “foreign groups and homosexuals”.

He added donor support from the international community has been crucial to Museveni’s government since the mid-1980s.

“So that’s why it’s so surprising relations have become so hostile.”

There was no immediate comment from Brown or the US embassy.

Opondo said, without providing any evidence, that Brown had a track record of causing trouble in countries where she has worked in the past. The government was watching her, he added.

The US embassy has said last week’s vote was tainted by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of media and rights advocates, and a nationwide internet shutdown.

“These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest of a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy,” it said in the statement on Monday.

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