Ugandan Police has detained presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, known as musician Bobi Wine, in the eastern district of Luuka on Wednesday for staging an election rally which broke Uganda’s coronavirus guidelines set by the Electoral Commission.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga said “Bobi Wine was arrested for violating COVID-19 guidelines that require presidential candidates to meet or address less than 200 people.”
Ugandan police have said three people have died and 38 wounded in protests that erupted after the arrest of Bobi Wine.
The country has also seen sporadic protests broken out in Kampala and other towns, as Bobi Wine’s supporters called for his release.
The presidential candidate who is no stranger to being arrested is being held at Nalufenya prison in Jinja City, which is known for torture of prisoners. Earlier this year in January, Ugandan police fired tear gas at Wine’s supporters and arrested him for attempting to stage an open assembly for his 2021 presidential bid at Our Lady of Good Counsel Gayaza in his Kyadondo East constituency near Kampala.
A few hours ago, the Twitter account of Wine stated that, “Upon reaching Jinja, Hon. Kyagulanyi has been detained at the famous Nabukenya torture house. The price of freedom is high but we shall certainly overcome.”
Another post to Wine’s Twitter account also said that, “Resistance against tyranny is not only a right. It is a DUTY for oppressed people to carry out!”
Former army commander of Uganda Police Defence Force and presidential candidate also tweeted earlier, “We have decided to pause our presidential campaign activities until our colleagues, @HEBobiwine and @PatrickAmuriat are released and their freedom to campaign guaranteed. We call upon government to recognise that this isn’t business as usual.”
Uganda will hold presidential elections in January 2021. Some campaigns have been blocked and plagued with violent enforcement of coronavirus restrictions by Uganda police.
Bobi Wine’s music is well known in the Caribbean. He is no stranger to the Caribbean Island of Jamaica. Wine’s music is described as a “sunny blend of Jamaican dancehall and a local Afrobeat style called kidandali.”
Wine recently teamed up with his idol and Jamaican reggae legend Buju Banton in a new revolutionary collaboration dubbed ‘Ballot or Bullet’. The song has a strong political message which is aimed at giving people hope for change in their country’s government.