Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, told CNN his home is “under siege” from military.
“My home has been surrounded by soldiers, they’ve jumped over the fence, they’ve taken over my compound, they’ve arrested my security guard,” he said in a phone conversation from his home on Friday.
His phone was blocked and the internet shut down for some time as security forces burst into his home the day after polls opened in the presidential election.
“I want the world to know that my life is in danger and I am not safe,” he added.
Earlier, journalists traveling to Wine’s residence for a press conference were turned back by security forces well before reaching his home. Many reporters were also forced to leave the national election tally center, despite having accreditation.
The hashtag “We are removing a dictator” has been trending since polls opened in Uganda yesterday and was used widely as news of the military presence at Wine’s residence broke.
Long-standing ruler President Yoweri Museveni, 76, is seeking a sixth term in office. He is being challenged by 10 opposition candidates, including Wine.
Museveni said in a CNN interview aired on Tuesday that he would “accept the results” if he lost.
“Uganda is not my house… if the people of Uganda don’t want me to help them with their issues, I go and deal with my personal issues very happily,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Wine reiterated his calls for the United States and European Union to hold Museveni and his government “accountable to free and fair elections.”
“It is evident that the government of Uganda and the generals blocked the election observers of the EU and also blocked the United States election observers, switched off the entire internet… so that Uganda can carry out elections in the dark,” he told CNN.
“We are calling for the world to respond legally. We are calling for the US to hold General Museveni and this government accountable to free and fair elections..” Wine added.
Before casting his ballot on Thursday, Wine addressed the media and complained that the majority of his polling agents across the country have been prevented from observing the election by police.
Ugandan law guarantees that every candidate is allowed representation at polling locations.
Many polling stations were forced to use manual voting and checks after the biometric machines failed to register ballots because of the internet shutdown ordered by the government.
There were also reports of late delivery of voting material and insufficient material at numerous polling locations.
On Tuesday, two days ahead of the polls, internet service providers were ordered to block access to social media platforms. In an address to the nation on the same day, Museveni confirmed that Facebook and other social media were blocked, accusing them of “arrogance.”
Uganda’s Electoral Commission is expected to declare the winner on Saturday., 48 hours after polls closed.
Eoin McSweeney contributed to this report