Uganda: Bobi Wine arrested, fans teargassed

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Police in Uganda arrested opposition figure Bobi Wine and fired teargas at his fans on Monday, during a public meeting that was supposed to mark the start of his presidential campaign.

Bobi Wine is being lined up as the key opponent against President Yoweri Museveni in next year’s presidential poll, but the singer-turned-politician faces ongoing pressure from authorities in the country.

Bobi Wine arrested again, fans teargassed

Opposition figure Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was scheduled to commence a week of consultations on Monday as part of his preparations ahead of next year’s election. However, police stopped the first meeting at a church in his constituency of the capital, Kampala. Some protesters responded by setting car tires alight and blocking roads while police used armoured cars, water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

In a statement, police spokesman Fred Enanga confirmed that Wine had been arrested and is being held at a police station in Kasangati. He said Wine and his associated will be released at some point but not before the police have considered charging them with holding unlawful events.

Uganda’s 2000 election law states that presidential hopefuls are allowed to hold nationwide consultations during the 12-month period before an election but requires them to “introduce” themselves to the Electoral Commission (EC) and notify local authorities of any planned events.

On December 3, Bobi Wine published a post on social media showing his letter to the EC, introducing himself and outlining his plans for events in the build-up to next year’s election.

Featured image: By Mbowasport – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81995826

 

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.