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News, November 2020
7 People Killed in Uganda Protests After Arrest of Presidential Candidate, Bobi Wine
November 19, 2020
Seven dead in protests against arrest of Uganda’s Bobi Wine
Nation Africa, Thursday, November 19, 2020
Seven people died and at least 45 were injured in protests that erupted after police arrested Ugandan presidential candidate and pop star Bobi Wine on Wednesday, Ugandan police said.
“As of yesterday evening we had seven people who lost their lives, about 45 people got injuries including an LDU [armed civilian force] whose head was smashed,” police spokesperson Fred Enanga said.
Mr Enanga claimed the National Unity Platform (NUP) led by Wine, who is also a lawmaker, violated election guidelines issued to contain the spread of Covid-19 .
The MP is currently detained at in Jinja following his arrest in Luuka where he had gone to campaign on Wednesday.
“But it (NUP) doesn’t have control over these demonstrators. They don’t have the ability to restore a situation that has gone out of hand and yet they’re promoting violence. This is unacceptable,” Mr Enanga told state-owned Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) on Thursday morning.
Wine was arrested alongside Jinja-based pastor Andrew Muwanguzi and five other supporters. They are currently being interrogated on charges of negligent conduct likely to spread the infectious disease, obstruction and holding unauthorised assembles.
Police said they had also recorded other crimes of looting, vandalism and robbery by other criminals taking advantage of the violent demonstrations.
Uganda Red Cross said Wednesday evening that their response team had rescued over 30 people from the riots and referred them to different health facilities
Wine was most recently arrested on November 3 moments after registering his candidacy for the January 14 2021 presidential election, over accusations he was planning an illegal rally.
Wine, nicknamed the "Ghetto President", has faced escalating police harassment since announcing his intention to challenge Museveni, who seized power at the head of a rebel army in 1986.
His catchy pop songs about social justice, poverty and corruption have shaken the ruling party and its ageing patriarch Museveni, who at 76 is the only president most Ugandans have ever known.
Death toll up to 7 in Uganda's unrest after Bobi Wine arrest
By RISDEL KASASIRA,
Associated Press, November 19, 2020
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) —
The death toll from protests over the arrest of Ugandan opposition presidential hopeful and musician Bobi Wine has risen to seven, police said Thursday, as a second day of demonstrations began.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said the toll is likely to rise after more than 30 people were injured during the protests Wednesday in different parts of the East African country.
“There are those who are badly off,” he said.
Protests resumed for a second day in the capital, Kampala, with protesters blocking roads and burning tires.
Police and army have deployed heavily in the capital to stop the protests that broke out after Wine was arrested. Police accuse him of flouting COVID-19 guidelines that require presidential candidates to address less 200 people.
Wine, who has been arrested many times in recent years, has captured the imagination of many Ugandans with his persistent calls for President Yoweri Museveni to retire after 36 years in power. The election is early next year.
7 dead in Uganda protests after arrest of presidential candidate
AFP, November 19, 2020
Seven people died in violent protests that erupted in Kampala on Wednesday after Ugandan presidential candidate Bobi Wine was arrested, police said.
Security forces clashed with supporters of the pop star-turned-opposition leader who is President Yoweri Museveni's main opponent in presidential elections on January 14.
"So far the dead are seven, as from late last evening. Those injured are 45," police spokesman Fred Enanga told AFP on Tuesday.
The singer, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, remained in police custody on Thursday for allegedly violating coronavirus measures at his rallies.
Enanga said calm had returned to the capital "even after there were attempts by some gangs this morning to block roads by burning tyres and setting up barricades, which police stopped."
The Red Cross said late Wednesday it had treated more than 30 people following "scuffles involving the police and the rioting masses", including 11 people for gunshot wounds.
Wine, 38, has long been a thorn in Museveni's side, netting a widespread following through catchy pop songs about social justice and corruption.
Many young Ugandans see him as their champion in a country mired in poverty and youth unemployment.
Museveni, a 76-year-old former rebel who seized power in 1986, is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders.
Wine has been repeatedly arrested -- most recently on November 3 after he filed his candidacy for the elections -- his concerts are routinely banned and his public rallies broken up with teargas.
- Tension -
The situation in Kampala remained tense early Thursday, with a constant military and police presence.
Rocks, burned tyres and other debris littered many streets in the city centre.
A group of Wine supporters remained camped outside Nalufenya prison in eastern Uganda where he was being detained.
A leading supporter, Muhammad Ssegirinya, who is also an an opposition parliamentary candidate, was detained after posted an audio message saying Kyagulanyi collapsed in detention over night and was to be flown out of the country for treatment.
The US embassy published a tweet saying it deplored the violence and extended its sympathy to the victims and their families.
"We urge all parties to renounce violence, undertake good-faith measures to reduce tensions, and respect fundamental freedoms," it said.
Patrick Oboi Amuriat, the candidate with the Forum for Democratic Change, was also detained on Wednesday but has been released.
Two other presidential candidates, Henry Tumukunde and Gregory Mugisha Muntu, have called off their campaigns until Uganda's electoral body prevailed over what they called police brutality against opposition candidates.
Museveni made no immediate comment on the protests.
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