The have arrested presidential hopeful Bobi Wine and fired tear gas to disperse his supporters as he sought to kick off public meetings before an election next year.
Bobi Wine, a singer-turned-politician who is particularly popular among young Ugandans, was scheduled to begin on Monday a week-long series of consultations ahead of the 2021 presidential poll.
On December 3, Bobi Wine sent a letter to the EC, officially introducing himself and outlining his plans, which he published on social media.
In the past, the police have warned opposition politicians that all events must also comply with the Public Order Management Act 2013.
Protesters set alight car tyres and blocked roads, while police backed by firefighters, armoured cars and water cannon used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga confirmed that Bobi Wine and members of his entourage had been arrested.
“We are temporarily holding them in our police station in Kasangati. We shall have to release them at some later stage but we are looking at charges of holding an unlawful assembly and disobedience of lawful orders,” Enanga
Ugandan police have arrested Bobi Wine and fired teargas at his supporters as the pop star turned politician tried to hold a rally for his 2021 presidential bid.
Wine and his People Power pressure group had aimed to start a programme of consultations with supporters on his plans to challenge Yoweri Museveni, 75, who has ruled Uganda since 1986.
Police said Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was trying to stage an assembly in an open area when he had only been allowed to meet supporters in an enclosed area such as a conference hall.
“This one is not an enclosed place, we cannot even allow them to be here,” said Edson Muhangi, a police commander. “We are reliably informed that their aim is to engage us so that they can be seen exchanging words, fighting with the police and tarnishing the image of Uganda.”
Colleagues of Wine were also arrested before the planned event at a school in Gayaza, in the central district of Wakiso. Gunfire was heard but it was not clear if live rounds or rubber bullets were fired.
On a number of occasions, the singer and activist has called on Museveni to retire, saying young people must prepare to take over leadership of the east African nation. Museveni, who has indicated he will run again for president, ha The arrest was effected as police fired teargas and live bullets to disrupt a consultative meeting that was organised by Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine and his team have been detained at Kasangati Police station.
Bobi Wine is the area member of Parliament.
The Gayaza meeting was part of Bobi Wine’s nationwide consultation phase where he intends to inform the electorate about his manifesto ahead of the 2021 general elections.