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Uganda's Museveni Faces Tough Challenge In Presidential Election

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A man wearing a red paisley patterned shirt jestures to his chest

Scores of opposition protesters have been killed during a campaign scarred by crackdowns on Wine's rallies which the authorities say contravene curbs on gatherings to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Voters in the East African country will cast ballots Thursday in a general election that pits President Museveni against 10 challengers, including popular singer-turned-legislator Bobi Wine.

Wine has been arrested multiple times while campaigning.

Mr Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said the raid on his compound and the arrest of his guards happened while he was doing an interview with a Kenyan radio station.

Facebook has said that they have shut down a slew of accounts belonging to Ugandan officials that have been accused to manipulate public debate ahead of elections.

Addressing Press at the Naguru Police Headquarters this morning, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigire said no one was arrested at Bobi Wine's home as alleged.

"Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network", Amin Addo said.

Yoweri Museveni addresses reporters

Uganda is a Western ally, a prospective oil producer and is considered a stabilizing force in a region where war has plagued some neighbours.

Billboards for Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and opposition leader and presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, are seen on a street in Kampala, Uganda, on January 12, 2021. Although there have been accusations of vote rigging.

The European Union is not deploying election observers as advice from previous observers about how to make the polls fair went unheeded, the EU ambassador to Uganda said.

Twitter, which joined Facebook and Instagram to permanently ban President Donald Trump from its platform last week, condemned the censorship on Tuesday.

The commission's spokesman Ibrahim Bbossa and government spokesman Ofwono Opondo did not answer calls requesting comment.

The U.S. -based social media giant said Monday it linked the network of accounts to the Uganda's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology. Social media and messaging services have been key tools used by all parties to campaign in Uganda.

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