Ugandan police arrested opposition MP and singer Bobi Wine on Monday, dispersing his supporters with tear gas, during a public meeting ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Better known by his name as artist Bobi Wine, Robert Kyagulanyi, 37, elected MP in 2017, has become the spokesperson for an urban Ugandan youth, often very poor, who does not recognize himself in the aging regime of President Yoweri Museveni, 74 years old.
He has been arrested or placed under house arrest numerous times since 2018, notably in the context of his indictment for having organized an illegal rally in July 2018. Prosecutions according to him politically motivated.
He announced in July his intention to run for the Ugandan presidency in the 2021 elections and was to launch a series of public meetings.
But police intervened on Monday, preventing the first of them from being held in a Catholic church in his Kampala constituency, an AFP journalist said.
Bobi Wine supporters set tires on fire and blocked roads. The police used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Police Confirmed Arrest
Police spokesman Fred Enanga confirmed the arrest of Bobi Wine and several of his associates.
“We are temporarily holding them in the Kasangati police station. They will soon be released, but we are studying the possibility of prosecuting them for having organized an unauthorized rally and disobedience, « he told AFP.
Mr. Museveni, born August 15, 1944, is the only president that most Ugandans know, in a country where one in two people is under the age of 16. At the initiative of the ruling party, the Constitution was recently amended to remove the age limit for running for the presidency, thereby allowing him to run for a sixth term in 2021.
The Ugandan president embarked on a six-day jungle walk on Saturday to retrace the route taken by his guerrillas when he took power in Kampala over 30 years ago.