The United Kingdom government has issued travel advice on Uganda warning its nationals of heightened political tensions in the country.
In the travel advice issued on Sunday, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned that there are possibilities of violent protests across the country following the arrest of several opposition members of Parliament (MPs).
Opposition leaders and their supporters in Uganda are protesting against the government’s decision to detain MPs after violent confrontations with security forces during last week’s elections in Arua Municipality with claims spreading that they are being tortured.
“There is an increased likelihood of protests, which may turn violent, across Uganda,” the UK said in a statement.
President Yoweri Museveni dismissed reports of torture and warned the media against spreading news that “our grandson, the indisciplined MP Bobi Wine” was gravely injured by security forces who arrested him.
Reports that the MP whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi was severely tortured and injured have been trending on social media for the last few days.
He also downplayed reports that the musician-turned-politician was detained because a vehicle in the presidential motorcade was stoned during confrontations between opposition supporters and police last week.
“The president has the capacity, either alone or in company with his personal security, to defend himself, not only against stone throwers but against any attacker. I have done that for the last 48 years,” he said.
According to Mr Museveni, the MPs were detained for forming and leading violent groups that used stones as missiles “to attack defenceless women, children and other civilians” so as to disrupt elections.
“Throwing of stones, in close proximity in built up areas, is intention to kill,” said the president in a statement.
He added: “Anybody who is a friend of the young politicians like Bobi Wine should advise them that short cuts like cheating, importing voters, intimidating the voters of the other side, ballot stuffing etc. will lead them and Uganda to doom. That is what the young politicians of independence thought and did and it led to disaster.”
The violence has ignited global criticism as the European Union warned on Friday that it has damaged Uganda’s reputation.