Uganda ‘pop’ sensation turned MP Bobi Wine arrested during an office raid

The Uganda Security forces detained popular pop star turned politician Bobi Wine on Wednesday in a raid at his offices in Kampala.

The opposition MP’s real name is Robert Kyagulanyi and this is not his first arrest over the years. Many attribute his tribulations to his confrontational approach to President Yoweri Museveni, leader of the ruling party who has held power since 1986. 

Among those arrested were several of Bobi Wine’s supporters. The security forces also seized his presidential security bid papers. Other items allegedly taken were the signature red berets and several t-shirts. Bobi Wine is currently the main challenger to Yoweri Museveni who has been ruling Uganda for three decades. At the time of arrest, no concrete reason was given for the detainment.

Anthony Wameli, Bobi Wine’s lawyer described the raid on the offices to the press. Roads leading to and from the place were sealed before Bobi Wine and other officials were detained. The former pop star was in a meeting with other members of the National Unity Party (NUP) when the police stormed into the area. Wine later told Reuters that the police also parted with $6,200 (23 million) from his office. 

Fred Ananga, a spokesperson for the police told the DPA news agency that the police officers were searching for army uniforms, allegedly obtained illegally by civilians. Bobi Wine is deemed as a threat by the current president given his huge following among the youth of Uganda.

He remains the main challenger of Yoweri Museveni, the current Ugandan president who is poised to seek a 6th term in office in the upcoming February 2021 election. In his conversation with Reuters, Bobi attributed the current developments to the incumbent’s habit to intimidate his main opponents prior to every election. Museveni is aged 76 and has relied on the armed forces to maintain power ever since. In a highly controversial move, the legislature removed term limits allowing him to seek another run for office

In 2019, Wine announced his desire to run for president - a direct yet untimely challenge to Museveni. Since his election in 2017, the youthful legislator has called for the incumbent’s resignation. Ever since that proclamation, the military and police have frequently dispersed his rallies or beaten and detained his supporters. It is no surprise that he holds a long record of arrest, occasionally being taken to court and getting charged.

Source: DW News

Ph Credit: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

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