Uganda: Police Denies Blocking Bobi Wine Concerts

Uganda's musician and lawmaker Bobi Wine on stage at his Kyarenga concert on November 10, 2018. Police arrested more than 80 suspects from the concert. (file photo).
7 December 2018

Kampala — Police have dismissed claims by singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, that it had blocked his music concerts scheduled to take place in different townships across the country.

While addressing the media on Thursday at police headquarters, police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, said Police had held a meeting with the singer - also Kyadondo East MP - and explained to him why his music shows could not be authorized to happen.

Mr Kayima said Bobi Wine just announced that he was to have music shows in places like Mityana and Gulu but did not provide supporting documents, among others agreements from owners of places he intended to his concerts, and plan on how handle the number of revelers that could turn up for his shows.

"It is not enough to say you are going to have a concert or gathering in Mityana without indicating the venue and plan for people you expect to attend. You must indicate that you have agreed with owners of venues for your meeting or gathering," Mr Kayima said.

Police in Gulu District over the weekend blocked Bobi Wine from holding a concert. Bobi wine was set to entertain his fans in Gulu Municipality at Smiling Panda on Sunday evening in his much anticipated concert dubbed Kyarenga Extra.

However, the Police stopped the event saying the organizers never got clearance from them to hold the concert. Anti-riot police officers earlier in the day destroyed several banners and posters within Gulu Municipality that were used to advertise Bobi Wine's concert.

Mr Kayima also read out the new guidelines issued by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martin Okoth Ochola, on how to organise concerts, secure security for revelers and how to handle and prepare for stampedes.

The first guideline requires concert organisers to write to IGP explaining where they intend to hold shows, how they have reached an agreement with managers and owners of the venues. They must indicate the number of revelers expected to attend the concert.

Concert organisers must avail measures on how to control the crowds, which include practical and approved traffic plan which must include access and exit routes, parking centres and how they would be managed, safety measures for revelers and vehicles.

"Organisers and conveners of concerts must show that they have in place measures and capacity to handle emergencies which include medical provisions, fire safety systems and thorough evacuation plans," Mr Kayima said.

Police added that organisers must have clear and elaborate access control measures including hand probes; walk through machines, K9 and scanners. Deployment of stewards must proportionate to the crowds and threat levels.

IGP warned Regional, District and Division police commanders against providing security for music concerts whose plan has not met the requirements.

"All unit commanders must take these measures seriously and make sure they are in place for any cleared events. These premises must be physically inspected before the event," Mr Kayima said.

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