Uganda: Chaos As Police, Military Fire Bullets, Teargas to Disperse Bobi Wine Supporters

3 November 2020

Chaos has erupted in Magere, Kasangati in Wakiso District as armed forces battle Bobi Wine supporters who had thronged his home to celebrate his nomination to challenge President Museveni in 2021.

The military and police on Tuesday fired teargas and live bullets to disperse supporters of the Kyadondo East MP, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, who had gathered at his home.

Kyagulanyi was slated to launch his manifesto at the National Unity Platform (NUP) offices in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb something security operatives were opposed to.

They wanted him to stay at his home where they had dropped him moments after his nomination at Kyambogo sports grounds.

Moments after addressing journalists following his nomination, Kyagulanyi was picked by security operatives who dropped him at his gate in Kasangati. His attempts to walk to Kamwokya to launch his manifesto was disrupted by security operatives who intercepted him group and his supporters.

By the time of filing this story, some of his supporters were reported injured in the chaos.

Moments after his nomination on Monday, President Museveni sounded a warning that whoever tries to disrupt the nomination exercise would be dealt with accordingly.

"I hear there are people who want to destabilise peace. I would like to encourage everybody to maintain peace. If you want to bring chaos here, you will regret it. We don't play," said Mr Museveni who has ruled Uganda since 1986.

"No one is better than us when it comes to fighting and fighting weapons. NRM fought to bring peace and so we don't play," Mr Museveni added.

Mr Museveni assumed power in 1986 following a five-year guerilla warfare.

However, in his address to journalists after nomination on Tuesday, the musician turned politician said he's contesting for the highest office in Uganda so as to represent the oppressed, the weak, the poor and the downtrodden, among others.

"I take this moment to announce that what we are witnessing now is the launch of a critical phase in our struggle to liberate our country from a dictatorship that has crippled us for close to four decades. We have closed the book of Lamentation. We have now opened the book of Acts. I'm here to save President Museveni from himself; from his corruption and patronage, among others. Fellow Ugandans, I present myself as a servant, not a boss. We are going to run a people-centered government. Our government will zone Uganda into agricultural zones," Mr Kyagulanyi said.

"I am representing those who have been excluded from a system which works only for a few who, of course, are sitting and stepping on the necks of the many. We will focus on science and technology as a catalyst of development. Each sub-region will have innovation hubs. We are first class brains stuck in a third world country," said the 38-year-old pop star before pledging to increase the emoluments of armed forces, including police, the army and the prison warders.

According to Mr Kyagulanyi, the least paid armed officer will earn not less than Shs1 million when he becomes president.

"There is no greater sacrifice like servicing in uniform. Our armed men and women will be respected. There will be mutual respect. You will know what the classified budget does if I'm elected President and the lowest earning security officer will earn one million shillings," he said.

However, moments after his nomination, the First Son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba tweeted saying: "I told you my young brother, that you can NEVER intimidate us. We are much stronger than you can ever imagine to be. If you want to fight we will simply defeat you. We want peace! But if you attempt to fight us then Bring it on!"

Bobi Wine 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, he 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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