Uganda: EC, Police to Meet Bobi Wine Over Foiled Consultations

Kampala, Uganda — The Electoral Commission is scheduled to meet presidential aspirant Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine in a bid to reach a compromise on their consultation programs.

This development comes just days after Kyagulanyi, campaigning under the People Power umbrella failed to hold three of his full week scheduled consultation meetings in different parts of the country. These included meetings earlier planned to take place in Gayaza, Gulu, and Lira.

Police, citing failure by Kyagulanyi to adhere to guidelines set out in the Public Order Management Act, on Monday foiled a planned meeting at Gayaza in Wakiso district. Together with Asuman Basalirwa, the MP for Bugiri municipality, Kawempe North MP Latif Ssebaggala and other People Power supporters, Kyagulanyi was arrested and detained at Kasangati police station and later transferred to Naggalama in Mukono district.

He later announced the cancellation of the Gulu meeting for what he called intimidation of his supporters by the police and other security agencies. News later emerged that even the planned meeting in Lira was foiled on the orders of the area Resident District Commissioner.

Bobi Wine wondered why the police were stopping him from holding consultations yet he had received a green light from the Electoral Commission.

EC spokesperson Jotham Taremwa told Uganda Radio Network yesterday that the commission has observed a need to meet the aspirant to try and reach a compromise between him and the police.

Taremwa said that the commission is equally disturbed by the nature of consultation that Bobi Wine wants to carryout saying they run contrary to the law. According to Taremwa, the law talks about consultations in a secluded area where they are able to have a two-way communication.

However, he said, what's happening is more of campaigns than consultation yet Kyagulanyi is not yet a presidential candidate. He added that Kyagulanyi, just like other politicians has overtime mastered the art of exploiting the public to gain sympathy as police stop illegal activities.

Taremwa added that police are mandated to enforce laws and that, it can't just look on when an individual allowed to consult in restricted areas is instead holding public rallies and processions that inconvenience other road users.

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