KAMPALA, 30 December 2020 – Police in Uganda have denied claims that its officers arrested Kyadondo East Member of Parliament and presidential candidate Bobi Wine.
Police called reports to the contrary “fake news”, clarifying that what its officers did was to escort Bobi Wine to his home in the Magere neighborhood of the capital, Kampala.
Citing COVID-19 restrictions, the police said the firebrand politician was restrained from continuously holding massive rallies that could spread an infectious disease.
In a statement, the police said they arrested supporters of Wine.
According to authorities, those arrested were allegedly caught on CCTV cameras and seven video footages, reportedly deflating tires of police vehicles, inciting violence and violating health and safety protocols.
The police statement was released Wednesday only after Bobi Wine wrote on his social media platforms that he had been arrested alongside his team.
“Bobi Wine and his entire campaign team arrested in Kalangala! Media blocked,” Wine wrote on social media.
Wine is seen as the strongest challenger to incumbent president Yoweri Museveni who will be seeking a record sixth consecutive term in office when Ugandans go to the polls on 14 January 2021.
Museveni has been President of Uganda since 1986. He was involved in the rebellions that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Amin (1971–79) and Milton Obote (1980–85) before he captured power.
Only two other African presidents have served longer than Museveni.
Teodoro Obiang has been in power in Equatorial Guinea since 1979 and his neighbor, Paul Biya of Cameroun, has been in power since 1982.