Reports that “Bobi Wine” Popular Ugandan Lawmaker may have been arrested; his driver killed


Image of dead driver tweeted by Member of Parliament Kyagulanyi.

There are unconfirmed reports that a popular Member of Parliament and music star in Uganda may have been arrested soon after he earlier tweeted that bullets meant for him had killed his driver.

Robert Kyagulanyi, also popularly known as Bobi Wine, tweeted Monday from the Ugandan city of Arua, a picture of his driver, Yasin Kawuma, slumped on the front seat of a vehicle with the upper right part of his torso covered in what appears to be blood. In his tweet Kyagulanyi said his hotel had been surrounded: “Police has shot my driver dead thinking they’ve shot at me. My hotel is now coddoned off by police and SFC.”

Kyagulanyi’s wife, Barbie, later passed on a message to friends that reads: “Friends and Family; it’s a dark night tonight. As you all know, our driver has been shot dead in Arua. It’s a very sad day today. I have no idea where my husband and a team of about seven of his people are at the moment, we have lost touch. All their phones are not reachable and we are all watching out the window to see or hear the next news coming in. Thanks for checking on us, we appreciate the concern. Keep us in your prayers.”

Kyagulanyi was in Arua to campaign for Kasiano Wadri who is running as an independent candidate for a vacant seat following the brutal June, 2018, murder of lawmaker Ibrahim Abiriga, who belonged to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ruling party dictatorship. The NRM’s candidate is Nusura Tiperu.

Wadri was formerly a member of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda’s major opposition party, whose candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye many believe won the last three presidential elections including the 2016 one.

The FDC candidate is Bruce Musema.

Other Members of Parliament campaigning on behalf of opposition candidates and even reporters covering the election were arrested, according to local media accounts.

A spokesperson for Uganda’s dictator of 32 years Gen. Yoweri Museveni later said opposition party supporters had thrown stones at the ruler’s convoy and shattered a window of one vehicle prompting his security detail to open fire, according to The Observer, a Ugandan newspaper which also noted, skeptically, that Museveni’s convoy vehicles are bullet proof.

There were also reports that Museveni’s security detail fired when there was a confrontation between supporters of the opposition and NRM supporters. The Observer reported that Kyagulanyi’s official photographer said during their return to their hotel they had never come face to face with supporters of the NRM candidate’s supporters, throwing doubts into the regime’s explanation for the shooting.

The Wednesday vote is widely seen as another referendum on the dictatorship, following recent defeats; Museveni, fearing another loss, flew into Arua, Monday, to campaign for Tiperu.

Kyagulanyi himself has seen a meteoric rise in his political fortunes and is feared by dictator Museveni because of his strong youth following. Youth unemployment in the country stands at an estimated 85% and the U.S. and U.K-backed dictator is extremely unpopular.

Kyagulanyi is one of Uganda’s leading musical entertainers and was a political novice when he threw his hat into the ring for a by-election run in July 2017, in a constituency known as Kyadondo East. He won, 25,659 votes, 80%, crushing Museveni’s NRM candidate Sitenda Ssebalu, who earned only 4,566 votes; remaining votes went to the FDC’s Apollo Kantinti.

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