Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has appeared at Buganda Road Court in Uganda’s capital Kampala and charged with disobedience of statutory duty, an offence prosecution says he committed in July 2018.
Prosecution on Monday stated that Bobi Wine, his brother Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, one David Lule, Edward Sebufu and others still at large disobeyed lawful orders by holding an illegal protest contrary to section 116 of the Penal Code Act.
He was remanded to Luzira Prison until May 2, 2019 when he will return to court for further mention of the case.
When asked if he had anything to tell court before he was remanded, Bobi Wine said: "Your honour thank you for this opportunity. I'm confident because indeed it's not me on trial; it's the court itself on trial. I have not committed any crime. I'm only here because I disagree with the political leadership of this country and in particular President Museveni. But my spirit is confident because I'm here not because I've stolen public funds or killed somebody. I'm glad that I'm here because I'm fighting for them, you (magistrate) and everybody in this country. I'm here for protesting against unfair taxation and against injustice. So if I'm to go through this oppression and pain for the betterment of my country so be it. At least I know that history will absolve me."
“David Lule, Katongole Julius, Nyanzi Fred Ssentamu, Sebufu Edward, Robert Kyagulanyi and others still at large on July 11, 2018 at City Square Kampala road in Kampala District disobeyed sections 5 and 10 of the Public Order Managemnet Act 2013 by holding a public meeting without giving notice to any authorised officer, holding a public meeting a public meeting without adhering to the required criteria and refusing to coordinate and cooperate with police with police to ensure that all participants are unarmed and peaceful,” reads part of the charge sheet, a copy of which was seen by this reporter.
Police arrested Bobi Wine on Monday morning after he answered a summons to the Criminal Investigations Directorate.
Bobi Wine entered parliament in 2017.
At 37, Bobi Wine is the figurehead of a new generation who grew up under Mr Museveni but want to see change and his anti-government songs have helped win him a big following.
Police had withdrawn from Bobi Wine's residence on Saturday, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said before adding that "Until this morning he was a free man."
From Tuesday to Saturday last week, Bobi Wine found himself under house arrest at his home in Kampala as police officers blocked his way when he tried to leave for a concert at his nightclub.
Last week, Mr Enanga described the situation as a "preventive arrest" imposed when the authorities decide someone is about to commit a crime.
The cancellation by the authorities of one his performances last week led to clashes between opposition supporters and baton-wielding police who also fired tear gas.
Several times in recent months, the authorities have stepped in to prevent Bobi Wine giving concerts and his house arrest last week was part of those efforts to keep him offstage.