Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has described Uganda’s police force as “pathetic, partisan, incompetent and shameful”.
This follows Jinja town incident where the MP was forced to seek refuge from a midnight raid by police which has seen many of his supporters and colleagues swept up and detained while others were reportedly beaten.
His American lawyer Robert Amsterdam, who has been communicating with Bobi Wine while he has temporarily sought refuge, these raids took place after nightfall in Jinja, Uganda, where a concert was to take place the following day along with numerous other musicians.
Police reportedly stormed the hotel where they were staying and detained dozens, while then conducting a neighbourhood-wide manhunt with the objective of unlawfully capturing Kyagulanyi, though there has been no stated cause or charge against him.
Responding to the incident upon return to Kampala, Bobi Wine said: “Uganda Police, what a shame that you constantly allow yourselves to be used to break the law!”
“Last night you once again exposed your partisanship, gross incompetence and a pathetic derogation from your oath to serve all Ugandans without fear, favour or ill will, and to abide by the Constitution of this land.”
He went on: “Shame, shame and shame on you for attacking and waylaying me and my team in the night at my hotel in Jinja. Even when I had made my appearance in broad day light waiting to perform at a show which I was paid to sing at and which you cleared!”
Bobi Wine said that after the raid, the wanainchi in Jinja made it possible for him to elude police and “any evil plans you harboured”.
“The roadblocks you put on the way to sabotage my travel back were a shameful move. I managed to travel back to Kampala today morning,” he mocked.
“You arrested some of the people I travelled with, including one of my constituents who was only in Jinja to discuss with me our plans for reconstruction of Lusanja victims’ houses. I demand that they are released immediately because they did not commit any crime!”
Bobi Wine said he still needs answers as to why he is singled out and not allowed to practice his profession while fellow artists are working.
“If I have a crime, why do you run away from me when I come to your offices? If I have a case to answer, why don’t you summon me and prosecute me as the law requires? Why is the IGP not responding to the protest letter I wrote to him last week about this unconstitutional conduct of the men and women who we pay to keep law and order? Why don’t you arrest me in broad day light if I have done anything unlawful?”
Incidentally when Bobi Wine talks to low ranking officers who are deployed to carry out “these atrocities”, they are as “disgusted” by these injustices as any other Ugandan.
They simply do these things against their will and conscience on orders from the cronies of President Museveni, he noted.
“Comfort brothers and sisters in uniform. When the struggle is won, you too will be free.”
He added: “I thank all friends from Uganda and abroad for continuing to raise alarms over our persistent persecution. We shall not relent. Darkness endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning. We shall certainly overcome.”
His lawyer Amsterdam says it is a clear and brazen act of targeted political repression by the Uganda authorities aimed at violating Bobi Wine’s human rights.
“Once again, Bobi Wine has broken no law, the concert was fully and legally permitted, and the other participating musicians were not targeted.”
Amsterdam says that the latest attempt to arrest Bobi Wine for no reason is clearly reminiscent of the events of this past August 14, when he and many others were brutally arrested, jailed, and subjected to extensive torture by agents of the Special Forces Command (SFC).
“The use of violence and intimidation by the Government of Uganda against peaceful, law-abiding citizens is carried out with the clear intention of repressing their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression,” says Amsterdam.
“We are going to be rigorously documenting every unlawful act and violation of rights by members of the police and their superiors and will seek to hold them accountable before every available international forum. The highest authorities have an urgent responsibility to halt this deplorable persecution without delay.”
Bobi Wine was expected to hold music concerts in Jinja, Mityana and Gulu districts etc, as part of his festive season programmes.