16 August 2018

Uganda: Family, Lawyers Denied Access to Bobi Wine As FDC MPs Are Released

Photo: The Observer
Robert Kyagulanyi who is better known as Bobi Wine (file photo).

Members of Kyadondo East Member of Parliament (MP) Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine's family and legal team have been denied access to the lawmaker who was scheduled to appear at Gulu Military Barracks on Thursday morning.

Bobi Wine is expected to answer treason-related charges before the court martial designated to sit at the barracks.

Lawyers representing Bobi Wine said they were denied access to their client.

Member of Parliament/lawyer Asuman Basalirwa said that the soldiers inside refused to confirm whether or not the MP was in the barracks.

"The officers here are non-committed on whether or not the Bobi Wine is here or not," he said.

Basalirwa says they were however, reassured that the army court will sit today to hear the case.

"What's clear is that we were denied access to speak to him. The communication of the barracks is confusing. They told us he was brought here for treatment and was taken back to Arua, but at the same time they say the court martial is sitting. There is concealment of information."

Earlier in the day, lawyers Luluma and Benjamin Katana had told the media in Gulu that their client was going to be arraigned in Kampala as opposed to the 4th Division army barracks where he had been detained.

"We are so frustrated with the way the army is handling our client. We are being tossed left and right on his whereabouts," Mr Luluma said in an interview.

Former Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza while speaking to press at the Gulu Magistrates Court also confirmed that lawyers, MPs, and the family of Bobi Wine were denied access to the MP.

"The lawyers went inside the barracks, the army seemed non-committed. At some point they said Kyagulanyi has been moved to Arua but at the same time they wanted us to believe he was inside the barracks. We demand that they tell us where he is," she said.

FDC MPs released

Meanwhile four MPS belonging to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party have been released from detention according to fellow FDC member Ingrid Turinawe.

Ms Turinawe announced the release on social media early Thursday afternoon.

"We have successfully secured the release of our FDC colleagues who were arrested by military in Arua yesterday. Hon. Munyagwa Mubarrack, Lukwago Musa, Muhamad Mutazindwa were picked from Kenya Parish as they supervised elections while Haji Sowedi Wanyama was picked from Destiny courts. They had been detained at Arua airstrip military barracks. Arua wasn't only an election campaign but it was a fight which we did not know how it was going to end. Prayers to members of Kasiano Wadri team who are still in detention and those who are hospitalized," Ms Turinawe wrote.

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