Uganda: Kadaga Asks Rugunda to Explain Why Security Forces Block Bobi Concerts

Photo: Bobi Wine
Bobi Wine (file photo).
18 December 2018

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has tasked the government to pronounce itself on concerts by musician cum politician, Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.

The Speaker Tuesday asked the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, who heads government business in Parliament, to present a statement on the matter.

Ms Kadaga's directive came after the Minister of Security Gen Elly Tuwmine failed to level-headedly explain the matter, after Mr Kyagulanyi, the Kyaddondo East Member of Parliament presented his complaint to Parliament.

Gen Tumwine, the Minister of Security, in his feeble attempt to answer the Speaker's call said that it was Mr Kyagulanyi to blame for failure to strike a balance between music and politics.

"Hon Kyagulanyi will be my witness. When he came to Parliament as a musician I had a conversation with him, and I asked him, 'how will you balance your music from politics?" Gen Tumwine said before he was ruled out of order.

"I think the minister takes this as a joke. I want to ask the Prime Minister (Dr Rugunda) to come and explain whether the State does not allow Mr Kyagulanyi to conduct his business," she said.

The Speaker, in her preliminary observation faulted the State for foiling the MP's music concerts since his rise to Parliament last year.

"The form we signed when we were elected does not say if you are a dancer, stop dancing; if you are a teacher stop teaching; no," Ms Kadaga said.

In his plea to the House, Mr Kyagulanyi cited occasions where the police have clamped down on his concerts, even where he has secured permission.

The MP whose arrest, detention and torture mid this year attracted local and international condemnation, described police action as illegal, unconstitutional and high handed and asked parliament to weigh in and save his source of income.

"Besides my role as a Member of Parliament I am also a musician and that is how my family survives and indeed through that trade, I employ hundreds of Ugandans," Mr Kyagulanyi said.

He said: "It is my hope and prayer that this honourable Parliament can reign in on the police and all security organs to stop abusing the laws of this land."

The Speaker also wants Dr Rugunda to explain why Mr Kyagulanyi has on several occasions has been barred from accessing places of worship, contrary to the Constitutional provision on the right to assembly and association including the right to religion.

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