Museveni challenger Wine says hotels in a town refuse to host him

Ugandan pop star and presidential candidate Bobi Wine said on Friday that security forces had ordered hotels in a town where he was campaigning to deny him admission, a new hurdle as he challenges President Yoweri Museveni’s rule.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is crisscrossing the country in his campaign to unseat Museveni in an election due to take place on January 14. Museveni, 76, has been in power since 1986.

On Thursday night Wine and his staff and supporters drove to Migera, a small town about 140 km (90 miles) north of the capital Kampala, to spend a night.

Wine said police officers had ordered all hotels in the town not to accommodate him. “We had to spend the night on the roadside, sleeping in vehicles! In our own country!!!,” said Wine, 38, in a tweet on Friday.

Wine’s spokesman Joel Senyonyi said hotel owners told the group they had been told by security personnel their premises would be closed if they accommodated him.

National Police spokesman Fred Enanga was not immediately available for comment.

Wine has accused security personnel of frustrating his campaign through killings, detentions and beatings of his supporters.

Both the police and the military have denied being partisan and targeting Bobi Wine for his politics, and say all their actions are lawful.

Last week security personnel used bullets, teargas and other methods to put down protests in several towns after Wine was detained in eastern Uganda. Police have said 45 people were killed in the unrest.