Uganda: Treason Case Stops Bobi's UK Travel

Robert Kyagulanyi.

Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, on Monday aborted his planned travel to United Kingdom (UK) to attend a parliamentary session debating the rule of law in Uganda.

His aide, Mr Nicodemus Musoke, told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview that he could not make it for the British Parliament debate on the declining democracy in the country since he was required to appear in court tomorrow to answer treason charges.

"Usually when he (Bobi Wine) flies out, he spends a couple of days abroad yet on Thursday, he has to attend court in Gulu for treason charges. He was, therefore, forced to cancel his travel," Mr Musoke said.

His organiser in the UK, Ms Belinda Atim, remained non-committal on the actual reason for the cancellation of his trip.

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"Just be sure all arrangements have been finalised for him to come to the UK. All other meetings except for the Parliament session will be on," Ms Atim said by telephone.

Mr Kyagulanyi was scheduled to attend the debate yesterday in the House of Commons in a session which was spearheaded by Stockton South MP Paul Williams, who describes himself as a friend to Uganda having worked for a nonprofit agency here.

There were rumours that police had barred him from travelling but the police spokesperson, Mr Emilian Kayima, denied this.

"I am not aware about such plans of action," Mr Kayima said yesterday.

Dr Williams said owing to the declining state of democracy in Uganda, the UK strategic interest and partnerships in the commonwealth, trade and security and the desire to enhance performing institutions, the UK must intervene but cognizant that Uganda is sovereign.

Mr Kyagulanyi and 32 others are expected to appear before the Gulu Magistrate's Court where they are facing treason charges.

The State alleges that the accused, who also include MPs Kassiano Wadri (Arua Municipality), Gerard Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality) and Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), and others still at large, stoned one of President Museveni's car, smashing its hind windscreen on August 13 during the Arua Municipality by-election campaigns.

They are expected to appear before magistrate Isaac Imoran Kintu for mention of their case.

Their co-accused, Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake is yet to be charged.

In an interview yesterday, he said he would resume his duties at Parliament today.

"I will be back to work on Wednesday (today) because I am feeling much better," Mr Zaake said.

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