Lawyers' offices of Ugandan presidential challenger raided: police


Kampala (AFP)

Ugandan police Wednesday reported a break-in at two offices of lawyers representing a Ugandan presidential candidate who had challenged winner Yoweri Museveni in court.

The candidate, former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, accused police of involvement in the burglary, during which computers and files were reportedly taken.

Kampala police spokesman Patrick Onyango told AFP: "There was a report of suspected burglary at the offices of the two law firms, and the guards who were manning the premises have been taken to police for questioning,"

Museveni swept to his fifth election victory last month with 61 percent of the vote.

Mbabazi, who won less than two percent of the vote, launched a petition last week at the Supreme Court challenging the win by Museveni citing voter bribery and arrests.

Observers said the cards were heavily stacked against Museveni's opponents, as the 71-year-old's grip on his party and country -- and his access to state resources -- meant the result was never in any doubt.

Mbabazi, a former close ally of Museveni, accused the police of involvement.

"The police were seen to have come here. They came, they broke (in and) they took away whatever they took," Mbabazi said during a televised interview after the incident, claims dismissed by the police.

"So I report to whom? They should be the ones to come and tell me, 'we came in, we didn't find you, then we broke in'."

Kampala's Daily Monitor newspaper reported that computers and case files were taken.

Museveni's closest rival, opposition chief Kizza Besigye, was arrested multiple times during the election and was blocked from making a similar petition, his party chief has said.