Museveni criticises police over Bobi Wine arrest, condemns 'illegal public rallies and processions'

Sunday May 5, 2019


President Museveni has criticized opposition politicians for endangering security of Ugandans and their property by holding public rallies and processions in busy areas like markets and crowded streets.

According to the president, “restoration of security of person and property” is one of the 10 point programmes that his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) fought for and has upheld since its coming to power in 1986.

“If you want to hold a public meeting (olu kungana) or a procession (ekivulu) for a legitimate reason, you should liaise with the Police, so that your public meeting or your procession does not endanger the lives of other Ugandans or the safety of their property. You agree with the Police on the route, if it involves a procession, or the venue if it is an event or a rally. The problem we have with some elements of the opposition is that they ignore this. They want to hold meetings or processions near markets or through crowded streets. This one we cannot allow,” Mr Museveni said in a statement posted on his website and social media platforms.

However, Mr Museveni emphasized that the said assembly or procession must be “for a legitimate reason” otherwise it will be blocked by authorities.

“If it is to preach hate, to decampaign investments in Uganda etc., then we shall not allow you. Those who have ignored this logic have paid a heavy price,” he added in what is perceived as a veiled criticism of opposition politicians like Dr Kizza Besigye, his four time challenger and Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, whose respective public rallies, radio talk shows and music concerts have of recent been cancelled by authorities with police saying they are in contravention of the law.

During Easter, police cancelled Bobi Wine music shows and fired teargas at his supporters and revelers before arresting him.

He was put under house arrest in his home at Magere, Kasangati in Wakiso District for several days.

However, in the statement dated April 28 and posted on his website on May 4, Mr Museveni criticized police for breaking the singer-cum politician’s car windows to effect his arrest on April 22, 2019.

“…… I also disapprove of the method the Police used to break the glass of Bobi Wine’s car. They should have towed the vehicle to wherever they wanted him to be. I do not watch TV most of the time because of work,” Mr Museveni said in the statement titled “Article on legitimate public assemblies.”