Bobi Wine in court today. Photo: Facebook scrren capture.
During his court appearance before he was released on bail today Uganda’s leading presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine told a reporter who asked about how he felt said: “It’s been tough. It’s been hell. It’s been very, very tough. But as I said in the past, we shall be free or we shall die trying to be free. We are not slaves. We are not Museveni’s slaves. No we are not, and we shall not accept to be slaves in our ancestors’ land. We are not slaves, I repeat to Museveni, we are not your slaves. We shall be free.”
He also said, “We shall always go to jail and come out unscratched. We shall come out even stronger than when we went in.”
Bobi Wine was arrested Wednesday by the military and police just when he was to start a campaign event in eastern Uganda. Security forces later shot and killed unarmed demonstrators in several parts of Uganda when protests erupted after the arrest.
The regime claimed Bobi Wine had violated Covid19 restrictions that ban any gathering of more than 200 people. Tens of thousands have come to wave at Bobi Wine in the town’s he’s driven through as he campaign for 2021 presidential election as head of the National Unity Platform (NUP).
Hundreds of people have also been showing up at Gen. Museveni’s campaign events, well in excess of the 200 Covid19 limit, yet the dictator has not been arrested.
Bobi Wine was charged with “activities” that would spread the coronavirus, on account of the huge crowds that showed up at his campaign events.
The regime seems to be shaken by the turnout of supporters for Bobi Wine and Gen. Museveni may be trying to find ways to derail the challenger’s bid. Bobi Wine is 38 and has formidable support given that nearly 80% of the Ugandan population is under the age of 30. The U.S.-backed Ugandan dictator, in power since 1986, is believed to be anywhere from 76 to 80 years old.
In an interview today U.S. Senator Chris Coons told CNN that the disruption in the presidential transition process was emboldening dictators around the world leading to human rights abuses and arrest of opposition leaders. Coons mentioned Uganda as one of those countries.