Ugandan Afropop star-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has been arrested.
The firebrand Kyaddondo East lawmaker was arrested on Monday morning alongside several Ugandan leaders allied to the opposition as they made their way to a venue in the outskirts of the capital city where he was expected to conduct out public participation on his manifesto ahead of the general elections in 2021.
Three journalists, who were covering the event, were also arrested. They are Kisekka Edward of NBS Television, NTV Uganda’s Arnold Sseremba and Ssematimba Bwejiire of Radio Simba.
The meeting was scheduled to take place at Our Lady of Good Counsel Secondary School, Gayaza in Kyadondo East.
Reports by Daily Monitor indicate that police fired tear gas and live bullets to disrupt the meeting. Members of the public were also blocked from accessing the venue.
Reports indicate that a one-day baby is feared dead after the police fired teargas into a resident’s house.
The leaders have been detained at Kasangati Police station.
The arrest comes just days after Bobi announced that the law allows him to go around the country to consult people if they would support his 2021 Presidential ambitions. He had written to authorities informing them of the meeting.
“Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act provides that anyone who aspires to become president can write to the EC and thereafter go around the country consulting citizens about his/her intentions. So in light of this, I am going to interact with Ugandans about his intentions to run for President,” Bobi Wine said in a message.
Fred Enanga, the Police Spokesperson confirmed that they had received the letter and had planned on checking if it met all the requirements today.
“He is supposed to notify the area LC1, police and the authorities then when the meeting is taking place we go and access whether the requirements are in place,” Enanga said.
In October last year, Wine was placed under house arrest after local authorities cancelled his Independence Day music concert.
Taking to his Twitter handle the vocal Kyadondo East MP stated that the police had surrounded his residence since Tuesday 11pm limiting his movement.
“Since 11:00pm, police & military surrounded my home & my private property, One Love Beach Busabala, in yet another move to place me under house arrest & block our Independence Day music concert. 156th concert so far! For singing truth to power, I can’t perform in my own country, ” he wrote.
He later staged a dramatic escape from the police.
The defiant MP, who is a fierce critic of President Yoweri Museveni’s government, is facing several charges including illegal possession of firearms and staging unlawful protests in the country.
In August, he was charged with intending to annoy, alarm or ridicule the President.