Uganda president says detained MP has no injuries, fractures; warns media

usician-turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine is at the Makindye military prison near Kampal

President Yoweri Museveni has hit out at media reports that have suggested that Kyadondo MP Robert Kyagulanyi was seriously injured while being apprehended by security forces last week in Arua [ File Photo]
Ugandan president has given an update on the health status of musician turned lawmaker Bobi Wine. It is the first official clarification on the health of the lawmaker.

Bobi Wine is currently facing treason charges before a military tribunal over the possession of weapons, local media reported last week. He is standing trial before a military tribunal.

Musician-turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine is at the Makindye military prison near Kampal [Photo-File}]
The president used the first three paragraphs of his latest release on political ongoings in the country to address Bobi Wine’s health but also slam prominent media outlets for peddling “fake news” in relation to the issue.

“Greetings. Some days have gone by while what President Trump calls “fake news” generators, especially the Monitor and their TV, the NTV, have been putting it out that our grandson, the indisciplined Bobi Wine, is gravelly ill, he cannot talk etc.

“They were putting it out that because of their “rough” handling of the MPs while arresting them, the Security forces could have done grievous damage to Bobi Wine.

“I decided to check with Army doctors because, being a disciplined Army, UPDF doctors always take precautions in such situations. Bobi Wine had already been seen by doctors in Arua, Gulu and Kampala. He has no head or chest injuries or bone fractures, they informed me,” the president wrote.

He went on to speak about political violence across the country usually on the part of the opposition. He blamed a category of people he said were foreigners seeking to meddle in local politics.

“Pseudo-democrats, be informed that the game of trying to hijack our democracy by fascists and foreign agents is over. We shall not tolerate any threats by words or by actions. Enough is enough. Media houses should also stand warned. Do your mandate: balanced reporting,” he added.

On Thursday, two lawyers who attended a military court session where one of the MPs, Robert Kyagulanyi, was brought in to be charged said he was unable to talk or walk, bore visible injuries and was not aware of his surroundings.

Security agents barred other people, including Kyagulanyi’s wife and relatives, from attending the hearing.

Kyagulanyi, a popular musician known by his stage name Bobi Wine, was first elected to parliament last year. He has since amassed a large following among youth electrified by his scathing criticism of Museveni sometimes delivered in his songs.

On Thursday, dozens of youths staged a protest in a suburb of the capital Kampala where Kyagulanyi has a recording studio. A police spokesman said 12 demonstrators had been arrested.

Images have also emerged on social media of Francis Zaake, another detained member of parliament, lying on a bed, eyes closed, his face swollen and with wounds on his palm.

“If Kyagulanyi or any of the others arrested in Arua is in the condition his lawyers described, and prosecutors do not urgently work to bring torture charges against those accountable, it will make a mockery of Uganda’s constitutional provisions against torture…,” said Maria Burnett, associate Africa director for New York-based Human Rights Watch.


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