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Rollercoaster day for Bobi Wine as he is re-arrested

By Hillary Orinde | Published Thu, August 23rd 2018 at 12:03, Updated August 23rd 2018 at 13:36 GMT +3
Bobi Wine in a file picture. He beat candidates from the main political parties in last year's by-election to become an MP [AFP]

A frail Ugandan pop star-turned MP Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine has been re-arrested minutes after being freed by the General Martial Court.

The politician was facing treason and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition at the court.

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The State withdrew the charges  and requested that he be handed over to the police for more investigation and probable trial at a civilian court.

The judge however, failed to transfer the treason charges.

“The court is not an instrument of arresting. The gentleman seated right there was beaten and his rights were abused. My prayer is he should be freed and he gets medication. He needs urgent medical care,” his lawyer protested the move.

A limping and teary Bobi Wine was ushered onto a waiting white police vehicle after he left the court room on route to the Chief Magistrate Court in Gulu. 

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Opposition Kizza Besigye was also arrested on this morning for trying to leave his home that had been surrounded by police and military personnel.

As at 12:20

The Magistrate Court rules that Bobi Wine be remanded until August 30 when he will be charged with his co-accused.

ALSO READ: MPs, civil society protest detention of Bobi Wine

The judge further directed that he be allowed to access private medical care.

Where it all began

Bobi was arrested 10 days ago after the presidential convoy was stoned in the north-western town of Arua and charged before a court martial in Gulu.

He was campaigning for independent -leaning opposition candidate Kassiano Wadri  who would the Arua Municipality seat from prison in a hard-fought race that saw President Yoweri Museveni campaign for ruling NRM candidate in vain.

A crowd that jeered Museveni's convoy and stoned a car in the presidential convoy was dispersed by police. Later police shot dead Bobi Wine's driver.

Ugandan security officers alleged that they found firearms in his hotel room, claims that have been denied by the hotel management and those present on the day of his arrest.

Protests

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The arrest of the popular MP - a vocal critic of the long-serving president - has angered many in Uganda and internationally eliciting protests. This afternoon Kenyan rights groups demonstrated in front of Uganda House along Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi, demanding Bobi Wine's freedom.

On Monday, demonstrators in central Kampala set fire to piles of tyres and wooden pallets, blocking traffic, and lobbed stones at policemen

More to follow.


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