Uganda's Bobi Wine due to appear before a military court. 'for treason'

Blanche Robertson
August 19, 2018

A group of legislators and lawyers have been pushing for his release Bobi Wine was arrested in the aftermath of the deadly clashes that rocked the west Nile town of Arua on the last day of campaigns to elect a member of parliament for the municipality.

"Honerable Kyagulanyi has today been arraigned before the General Court Martial in Gulu and charged. on accounts of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition", a statement signed by army spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire said on Thursday.

Critics have said Uganda's government might find it easier to get the verdict it wants in a military court, where independent observers often have limited access.

A trial before a military court is likely to be drawn out over months and possibly years, impeding his political activities.

While the circumstances surrounding the arrest and subsequent charges were severely contested by many as being politically motivated, the focus has now switched to the physical state of Bobi Wine and his fellow legislator, Francis Zaake.

"His face was bruised when he appeared in army court". Journalists were also denied access to the fourth division barracks. "The communication of the barracks is confusing". "There is concealment of information".

"The lawyers went inside the barracks, the army seemed non-committed".

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Earlier Police displayed exhibits which included two SMG riffle guns that recovered from the Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu's hotel room at Pacific hotel in Arua.

A group of legislators authorised by the parliamentary speaker to investigate the situation told reporters on Thursday that they had been unable to see the pop star.

Kiiza however, confirmed that they were able to meet the other MPs before their case could commence at the Magistrates Court.

Bobi Wine has quite a youthful following, and as a first-time legislator, he just had a taste of Museveni's state machinery. "In spite of having surrendered, they pounced on him, hit his head with an iron bar, indiscriminately beat and kicked him all over the body until he became unconscious", the commission's statement said.

The same was re-echoed by musician Ronald Mayinja, who said he was told that Bobi Wine was gravely tortured.

Gen Ali told Parliament that Kyagulanyi was flown to Gulu hospital where he is receiving treatment, he also clarified that the other 3 MPs will appear before the Chief Magistrate tomorrow in Gulu.

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