Ugandan afrobeats star and lawmaker, Robert Kyagulanyi popularly referred to as Bobi Wine has given his version of events that happened on Thursday when he returned to the country after medical treatment in the United States.
He bemoaned how his rights as a citizen was violated right on the tarmac where he said he was arrested by police men and other operatives in civilian attire.
His claims directly contradict the police position that said he was not arrested at any point but that he was only escorted home upon his return. Bobi Wine flew to the U.S. in late August after alleging torture at the hands of the military.
He was held as being complicit in violent acts that led to a car in the presidential convoy during campaign in a by-election in the town of Arua. The court martial dropped charges against him before he was rearrested and arraigned before a Magistrate Court for treason.
So after many days away, I am glad to be back home. The day has been as hectic as it was when I left. The state has lost all shame. It is pathetic how the security agencies have devoted themselves to violating our rights with impunity day in day out!
Upon landing at Entebbe airport today afternoon, I was immediately arrested by people in police uniform and others in civilian attire. They grabbed me from the tarmac, took away my walking stick and grabbed my red beret off my head!
I was forced into a waiting police vehicle. I insisted that I did not want to get into an unknown car with complete strangers and that I had my own car waiting for me at the arrivals but my plea fell on deaf ears.
Even when I suggested that they let me get into that strange vehicle with Hon. Winnie Kiiza who I had travelled with from Kenya, they could hear none of that. I was searched and my passport was taken from me. I still don’t know where it is.
I got sandwiched between two counter terrorism policemen in a vehicle that had other police officers. I was then driven off towards the UN airbase with a string of police patrol cars and military trucks. They drove me at breakneck speed and after a long ride, we got to Kiira then headed to Gayaza road until I was eventually dropped at my home in Magere.
Once again my rights were grossly violated, but most importantly the rights of my friends, family and lawyers who endured gross harassment throughout the day. Many of them were arrested and only released late in the evening.
Many of my fellow leaders were put under house arrest for no offence whatsoever. Simply because the state suspected that they would want to go and receive me at the airport. This is gross abuse of authority.
I am very bothered by the gruesome pictures and videos which I just saw. Why would security agencies dehumanize Ugandans so much? I saw people, most of whom were going about their business along Entebbe road and Kasangati town, being beaten and manhandled by some security personnel. This impunity must stop.
I hope Ugandans who watch these things now fully understand why we must urgently work towards redemption.
I was overwhelmed by the masses of people who waited for me at our home in Magere. I can’t thank you enough! I am thankful to God for getting me home safe. We shall get to talk more in the coming days.