Three people were killed and 38 others injured in demonstrations that erupted after officers arrested Bobi Wine, a popular musician seeking the presidency in the next year’s election, Ugandan police said.
Supporters of Wine blocked roads and burned tires in Kampala, prompting police to fire tear gas and bullets to disperse protesters. Turmoil came after Wine was arrested in the eastern town of Lucca and taken to a police station in Jinja.
A yet unknown number of people were killed and injured in the capital Kampala after demonstrators clashed with police officers, who fired live rounds and tear gas at opposition protesters, a Uganda Red Cross spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita said.
Police spokesman Fred Inanga said. Wayne, whose real name is Robert Kyagolani Sentamu, has been arrested for violating Covid-19 guidelines that require presidential candidates to meet or address fewer than 200 people.
“We weren’t allowed to see him and we don’t know what’s going on,” Joel Cignoni, a spokesperson for Wayne’s Political Party, the platform for national unity.
The head of the Kampala City Merchants Association, Evarist Kayung’o, said that in the meantime, it was total chaos in the capital. The streets are empty. We closed the business because of tear gas and bullets, Mr. Kayongo said.
The east African country is scheduled to hold general elections in January next year, in which Wine, a lawmaker and singer whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is to run for president.
Local broadcaster NTV reported Wine is being detained in the town of Jinja for breaching a COVID-19 ban on gatherings of more than 200 people. However, police did not comment on the detention and the reasons for it remained unconfirmed on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, Wine has been arrested multiple times since announcing his political ambitions. Since the start of the electoral campaign on November 9th, security forces have almost daily clashed with Wine’s supporters, who have been turning out at his rallies in huge numbers.
“We are under police and military attack in Luuka. Live bullets and tear gas have been fired directly to the people by men in uniform,” the NUP wrote on Twitter.
Wine, who has been arrested several times in recent years, has captured the imagination of many Ugandans by his constant calls for President Yoweri Museveni to retire after 36 years in power.