Uganda: Two Arrested as Police Raid Bobi Wine Office in Jinja

29 October 2020

Police on Thursday raided offices of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in Jinja District in eastern Uganda.

NUP spokesperson, Mr Joel Ssenyon said an office attendant and one of the party coordinators had been arrested during the raid.

"We've learnt about the raid on NUP offices in Jinja by heavily armed police officers. They've arrested the office attendant plus one of our coordinators. And then you hear our leaders say that they returned democracy to the country. Just like their predecessors. They too will go!" Mr Ssenyonyi tweeted on Thursday morning.

Kiira Region police spokesperson, Mr Abbey Ngako told this reporter that the raid on the offices located on Main Street in centre of Jinja City was in line with section 169 and 170 of the Penal Code Act.

According to Mr Ngako, the operation was intended to recover military related attires which were in possession of members of NUP led by aspiring presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine.

Mr Ngako told this reporter that Penal Code bars any civilian from possessing military related equipment or attires.

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Ngako was however non-committal on the number of people arrested and items recovered at NUP offices during the morning raid.

The red berets and attires which have for a while been synonymous with the Kyadondo East MP's's people power movement, were in September 2019 gazetted as attire for the armed forces.

Since then, several people believed to be members of NUP have been arrested and charged with possession of government stores.

A section of politicians seeking citizens' mandate on the NUP ticket ahead of 2021 have also accused security operatives of intimidation and raiding their homes.

The Jinja security raid comes a day after a 70-year-old tailor in Buikwe District was arrested alongside nine other people on similar charges.

The woman identified as Ms Florence Namuddu, a tailor in Lugazi Municipality was found in possession of a piece of red clothes.

Her co-accused were allegedly found wearing red berets or clothes similar to attires gazetted fro armed forces.

Bobi Wine who, last year, declared his intention to challenge President Museveni has become a popular figure among the youth in a country where the median age is less than 16.

Since becoming an MP in 2017, the 38-year-old pops star has been routinely arrested and put under house arrest, his concerts banned and public rallies dispersed with teargas.

After more than 30 years in power, the 76-year-old Museveni is the only president most have known.

Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving rulers, had the constitution amended for a second time to allow him to run a sixth time in 2021.

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