17 August 2018

Uganda: Bobi Wine Charged, Remanded to Makindye Barracks

Kyadondo East member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has finally been charged and remanded to Makindye military prison.

Kyagulanyi appeared before the Army Court Martial chairman Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti at Gulu barracks on Thursday evening. He was charged with two counts of illegal possession of fire arms and live ammunition. He was later airlifted in a military helicopter to Makindye barracks, where he was remanded to until August 23.

Kyagulanyi's family, friends and journalists who'd waited all day were denied access to the Army court proceedings. Lt. Gen Gutti only allowed in his two lawyers Medard Sseggona and Asuman Basalirwa.

Sseggona told journalists outside Gulu barracks that Kyagulanyi could not support himself and was in pain because he was tortured.

"The honourable Kyagulanyi, we have been able to see him, he's in great pain as a matter of fact - great, great pain. He was badly beaten and brutalised; he cannot walk, he cannot stand, he can only sit with great difficulty. So everything he does, he does with support. He can't talk, he can't see [and] it is hard to say whether he understands this and that. That notwithstanding, he has been charged with three counts of unlawful possession of firearms and I hear 35 rounds of bullets of a particular classification. That he was in possession of a pistol, unlawful possession of firearms at his hotel room at Pacific in Arua." said Sseggona.

As Sseggona narrated Kyagulanyi's health condition to journalists, the legislator's wife Barbie Kyagulanyi broke down in tears. According to Basalirwa, Lt. Gen Gutti said that while at Makindye barracks, Kyagulanyi will be allowed access to his family and friends.

Kyagulanyi was arrested on Tuesday morning from his hotel room in Arua after almost 12 hours of hiding. He was accused by security of mobilising youth in Arua to attack President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade.

Museveni in a second statement in as many days about the Monday's events in Arua warned that "the cases of terrorism, damaging property, manslaughter etc against the Hons Wadri and Bobi Wine etc will continue."

He added that their actions led to the death of a Ugandan, Bobi Wine's driver Yasin Kawuma. Kawuma was shot dead on Monday at Hotel Pacific parking lot in Arua.

Earlier, Arua MP-elect Kassiano Wadri alongside 35 other suspects including members of parliament were charged with treason before Chief Magistrate's court in Gulu and remanded to Gulu main prison until August 30.

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