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Uganda police accused of stealing evidence in poll dispute

10 March 2016, 09:36

Kampala, Uganda — An opposition group that launched a court case against the re-election of Uganda's long-time president accused the police of breaking into a lawyer's office and seizing crucial evidence.

Men in police uniform jumped over a wall fence and broke into the office of lawyers representing former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi, the Go Forward group said Wednesday.

The incident took place Tuesday night in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, after guards assigned to protect the property were beaten, said Medard Sseggona, a spokesman for Go Forward.

"They were specifically looking for info relating to the petition," he said. "'It was a well-orchestrated move."

Mbabazi, who was the Go Forward Candidate in presidential elections last month, pressed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court challenging the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni. Mbabazi's legal team has described the elections as a "sham," echoing similar comments by Kizza Besigye, the main opposition leader.

Police spokesman Fred Enanga denied police were involved in the alleged burglary and accused the opposition of "playing games" aimed at discrediting the police. The police are investigating the incident, he said.

International election observers cited may irregularities with Uganda's elections, which were marred by late delivery of polling materials in opposition strongholds, some incidents of violence, and a government shutdown of social media.

In the lawsuit before Uganda's highest court, Mbabazi's lawyers argue that the elections were tainted by widespread illegalities and are seeking a vote recount in disputed districts such as Museveni's home area, where official results showed him winning with 100 percent support.

Museveni, in power since 1986, won about 60 percent of the votes and his nearest rival, Besigye, got about 35 percent, according to final tally. Museveni denied the allegations of vote fraud.

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- AP


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