Bobi Wine, 36 others face five more charges

Wednesday August 07 2019
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In the dock. From Left to Right, Eddie Mutwe in red shirt, Bobi wine [wearing red beret] and Arua Municipality Legislator Kassiano Wadri appears at the Magistrate court in Gulu town on Monday December 3 2018. File photo

The State on Tuesday slapped five more criminal charges against Kyadondo East Member of Parliament (MP) Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, alongside 36 other suspects in connection with the alleged stoning of President Museveni’s car in Arua Municipality last year.

Initially the 37 suspects were facing charges of treason and acts to alarm, annoy or ridicule the President.

The new charges include incitement to violence, disobedience of lawful orders, going armed in certain places, failure to prevent obstruction of traffic, confusion or disorder during a public meeting and failure to give right of way.

"He was charged with annoying the president" in relation to the same case, his lawyer Asuman Basalirwa told this reporter.

Charges denied

All the suspects denied the fresh charges before Grade One Magistrate, Isaac Imran Kintu who extended their bail until further notice.

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The court also committed them to the High Court.  This means that they will have to wait on the registrar of the Gulu High Court to list their case file for hearing.

Other suspects include MPs Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), and Michael Mabike and John Mary Ssebuwufu.

Bobi Wine, who entered parliament in 2017, has emerged as a leading critic of Museveni -- who has been in power for over three decades -- and has faced multiple detentions while authorities have frustrated his efforts to perform.

He announced last month that he would take on Museveni in 2021 national elections.

"This government of President Museveni is in panic mode. At first it was treason and now it is annoying President Museveni. Who on earth can't be annoyed?" Bobi Wine said.

"It is a ridiculous charge and am ready to challenge it in court," he said.

The new accusation against Wine comes just days after prominent activist Stella Nyanzi was sentenced to 18 months in prison over her vulgar posts on social media against Museveni -- which she sees as a way to get her message across.

Bobi Wine is still facing charges in another court, for staging a protest against a law that imposed a tax on mobile money transactions and use of social media in 2018.

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