After an online campaign urging MTV Base to cancel its annual MTV Africa Music Awards over allegations of human rights abuses by the Ugandan government, the TV channel postponed the awards Thursday, which was due to be held in the East African country’s capital, Kampala.
“It was painful to see MTV was being used to sanitize the oppressive regime here in Uganda,” said presidential candidate Bobi Wine during a news conference Thursday. “I am glad MTV is also seeing it and acting in respect of all the rights of artists. It would be such a shame for the MTV Music Awards to be held in Uganda under gunpoint.”
MTV Base did not give a reason for the postponement. When asked whether the decision had anything to do with the alleged human rights abuses, a communications director at Viacom, MTV’s parent company, said “we have nothing further to add.”
Before Thursday’s news conference, Wine’s legal team issued a 50-page report collating allegations of apparent abuses, human rights violations, and irregularities relating to the national elections on January 14.
Wine – whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi – has repeatedly said his team would release evidence of his claims of ballot-stuffing, military coercion of voters, and illegal casting of votes.
The report listed allegations of intimidation and violence reported on by media outlets, including CNN, and posts shared by Ugandans and opposition party officials. CNN could not independently verify those posts.
Wine’s US legal representative, Bruce Afran, wrote that Wine’s party, the National Unity Platform, was unable to prove excess votes at polling stations because they say their data and laptops were confiscated in a raid on their party headquarters.
Uganda’s longtime leader, President Yoweri Museveni, was declared the winner for a record sixth term, amid an internet blackout and allegations of abuse.
In an address to the nation days after being declared winner, Museveni dismissed allegations of vote-rigging, saying “this was the most peaceful election Uganda has ever held since independence from Britain in 1962.”
Wine’s legal team claims that the Electoral Commission’s final report on the outcome of the election, which shows 100% voting returns for Museveni in hundreds of districts and near 100% in hundreds more, shows a “clear pattern” of falsified voting.
Wine said the report was sent on Thursday to the European Union, the European Council, the United States Department of State, and the foreign ministries of several countries, including the UK, France, and Australia.
CNN has contacted Museveni’s office for comment on the 50-page report and MTV’s postponement.
Wine filed a petition on Monday seeking to nullify the reelection of Museveni.