5 October 2018

Uganda: Byanyima Denies Links to Bobi Wine Activism

Kampala — The sister-in-law of former FDC president Kizza Besigye has denied having any connections with Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, or her People Power political campaigns even as she expressed her admiration for his activism.

The home of Ms Edith Byanyima, who is a sister to Dr Besigye's wife Winnie Byanyima, was raided by the police on Wednesday on allegations that she was preparing red clothes to be used in Opposition activities that incite violence. Police impounded 24 red napkins from her residence in Muyenga, a Kampala suburb.

In an interview yesterday, Ms Byanyima said although she is a supporter of the Democratic Party, she has never been in active politics.

"I have never met Bobi Wine [but] I like him. He speaks from his heart," Ms Byanyima said, adding: "People Power is just a slogan. Someone wearing a T-shirt with words 'People Power' is like a bill board where someone expresses his or her beliefs. What is wrong with that?"

Colour symbols

Red clothes have been associated with Opposition under two campaigns, defiance and People Power, led by Dr Besigye and Mr Kyagulanyi, respectively. Some of the youth wearing 'Free Bobi Wine' T-shirts were seen at Ms Byanyima's press conference held at her home.

Ms Byanyima said she was not surprised that police could raid her home given their past incidents of torture of civilians.

"They came and told my staff that they believe that there were guns, ammunitions and rebels in my home. Later, they only went away with napkins. ... I ask police to refrain from disrupting our lives," she said.

She said since the raid, she has been receiving anonymous calls, warning her not to talk to the media without the consent of the police. "This is not the police we want. Instead of looking for criminals, they are busy raiding workshops that are helping the poor people," she said.

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