Uganda braces for election with autocratic ruler challenged by charismatic popstar

  • Video report by ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar

Deadly violence and repressive measures have alarmed observers as Uganda prepares to vote on Thursday, with longtime President Yoweri Museveni challenged by young singer and lawmaker Bobi Wine.

Wine, until now more comfortable performing in concerts with global stars, has captured the imagination of many across Africa in a generational clash.

But authorities have used the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason to ban rallies in urban areas where Wine has strong support, including the capital, Kampala.

Bobi Wine's campaigning has been curtailed by authorities. Credit: AP

In recent days, Wine has been arrested and blocked from staying in hotels while campaigning, and one bodyguard was killed.

Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, told ITV News he fears for his life and wears a bulletproof vest.

His campaigning has been officially curtailed to stop the spread of the virus.

The president's has not.