Uganda arrests opposition leader Bobi Wine at Entebbe Airport
Uganda’s opposition party National Unity Platform (NUP on Thursday said their principal Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, had been picked by security operatives at Entebbe International Airport upon arrival and whisked away.
“He was picked off the plane and driven to an unknown destination. Up to now, we cannot speculate his whereabouts,” NUP Secretary General, David Lewis Rubongoya told journalists at a security checkpoint along Entebbe-Kampala highway where he had been blocked from proceeding to the airport.
Security sources confirmed that Bobi Wine was picked from the airport and driven straight to his home in Magere, Wakiso District, in the outskirts of Kampala city, reportedly to stop a procession they had anticipated would paralyse travel on the 43km Kampala- Entebbe route.
Bobi Wine was returning from a tour that took him to several countries including Canada and South Africa.
Read:Bobi Wine in rallies to activate support
“Our president was picked up by regime operatives as soon as he landed at the airport,” David Lewis Rubongoya, the secretary general of NUP, posted on X.
Bobi Wine also posted that Uganda police personels have surrounded his home and blocking people from entering the premises to greet him.
Our home is still surrounded by the police and military. They have blocked most of our people from entering to greet us. Earlier, they were firing teargas and live bullets to disperse them. I am effectively under house arrest. A criminal regime in panic. pic.twitter.com/e0Q9eZ3kLQ
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine October 5, 2023
The Uganda police had warned supporters not to line up and form processions to receive him after plans had been announced in what they called One million match, to receive their leader.
“The organisers of this welcome back event are advised to stop mobilising and members of the public are also advised not to participate in an illegality. Security agencies will make sure that no one engages in illegal procession and whoever will be arrested will be taken to courts of law,” said Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, a day before Bobi Wine returned.
“Such a procession has the potential to disrupt the normal flow of traffic, the movement of individuals, and the operations of businesses along the Entebbe – Gayaza highway. It may also attract criminal activities, posing risks to bystanders, motorists, passengers, and businesses through acts of theft or other criminal activities,” he added.
However, his supporters had insisted they would organise the procession despite police warning.
Read:Police crackdown rattles Uganda opposition bases
“Welcoming our president is an initiative of the people and as party leaders, we are in total support of the arrangements,” deputy party spokesperson Waiswa Mafumbiro said.
The police on Wednesday detained seven people in Abaita Ababiri, a small township, near Entebbe airport, after they had been found mobilising the people for Bobi Wine’s return.
The police had last month banned rallies arranged by the NUP leader after he was accused of making statements that were deemed to have been sectarian and threatening the peace and unity of Ugandans.
While on one of the tours in Luweero, Central Uganda, Bobi Wine told his listeners at a rally to take note of the injustices and the tribes that are behind them with a view of seeking revenge.
Bobi Wine contested against president Yoweri Museveni in the 2021 General Election, coming second with 35 per cent of the vote. He had,last month, insisted on continuing with banned rallies. However, he quickly flew out of the country when police stood firm on the ban.