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Chaos as Bobi Wine rearrested, Uganda presses treason charges

By Patience Atuhaire

Things are moving fast in the case against Uganda musician-turned-MP Bobi Wine.


The Ugandan musician-turned-MP Bobi Wine has been re-arrested according to his lawyers.

The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga says he was put in a police vehicle with his wife and will be taken to the chief magistrate’s court:

Local media have been reporting on the re-arrest, which happened seconds after he was released from a military court.

This is how it unfolded on a Ugandan TV channel:


And moments later on same television


We’ve been quoting reports from state-owned media that a military court has dropped charges of the illegal possession of firearms against Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi.

But now it appears the state may still pursue treason charges against him in a civilian court.

The army lawyers said Bobi Wine should be handed over to the police to face the charges in a civilian court, together with the other MPs in detention.

His lawyer Medard Segona told the court that, although he was relieved by the military decision, he objected to his client now being handed over to the police to face fresh charges.

He demanded that the MP be declared a free man so he could be taken for medical treatment.

The court has adjourned and the panel has yet to rule.

Bobi Wine sat silently in court, hands clasped together, even though he was not in handcuffs.

He was arrested following violence during a by-election campaign in the north-eastern town of Arua.

Bobi Wine is a popular figure among many young people in Uganda

Bobi Wine is a popular figure among many young people in Uganda

His family and lawyers have said he is in fragile health after he was beaten and tortured, claims that have been dismissed by President Yoweri Museveni.

There has been tension across the country since Bobi Wine, other MPs and over 30 supporters were arrested over a week ago.

Police had deployed heavily and sealed off the homes of a number of opposition politicians. Opposition figure Kizza Besigye has recently been arrested in Kampala.

The police have said the deployment was a preventive measure, based on intelligence, that some politicians were going to stage protests, and attack security installations and officers on duty.

Cover photo: There were demonstrations in favour of MP Bobi Wine in the capital, Kampala, on Monday. Photo: AFP

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