Oxfam International Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima has condemned the continuous use of unnecessary force and unfair methods by police to crackdown on Opposition members in Uganda.
She warned that the increased oppression of dissent voices in the country may lead to rise against what she described as “arrogant, out-of-touch, increasingly violent dictatorship.”
Byanyima’s warning comes as police increasingly tighten their grip against opposition activities, with the most recent crackdown targeting former FDC President Kizza Besigye, and Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine.
The latter has seen all his Easter concerts cancelled by the police, while Dr Besigye has been blocked from addressing any public gatheringsand appearing on radio talk shows with police accusing him of trying to “incite the public.”
According to Ms Byanyima, the increasing favour of only NRM activities will provoke the masses to rise against what she has described as “an arrogant, out-of-touch, increasingly violent dictatorship.”
“No shows for @HEBobiwine, no radio interviews for @kizzabesigye1 only one side, #nrm, @KagutaMuseveni will be heard. Soon, #ugandans too will rise against an arrogant, out-of-touch, increasingly violent dictatorship. Sad but not too late to change course,” Ms Byanyima tweeted.
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Bobi Wine arrest
Police detained pop star-turned-MP Bobi Wine on Monday after shutting down one of his concerts and firing tear gas at his fans.
The local music sensation and high-profile government critic was pulled from his car by baton-wielding police as he tried to make his way to the concert venue in southern Kampala.
The much-anticipated show at his private club on the shores of Lake Victoria was cancelled Sunday by police, who cited safety concerns and sealed off roads to the venue.
Bobi Wine tried to reach the location Monday but clashes broke out as his supporters threw stones and police responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Police broke into the car and forcefully removed Bobi Wine and put him in a police van and drove him away after firing teargas at his supporters.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga confirmed that officers "engaged him earlier and drove him away from Busabala" but would not say if Wine was formally arrested.
The singer had earlier encouraged his supporters to "stand firm" despite the violence.
"People teargassed, beaten, Many arrested. We shall overcome," read a post on Bobi Wine's official Twitter account followed by more than 200,000 fans.
The popular singer, who entered parliament in 2017 and has emerged as a leading critic of President Museveni, has struck a chord with young Ugandans with his songs about social justice. Authorities have repeatedly blocked him from performing publicly.
One of Bobi Wine's songs contains the lyric "freedom fighters become dictators," while others hint that Museveni has stayed in power too long.
The 74-year-old president has led Uganda since seizing power at the head of a rebel army in 1986 but intends to contest a sixth term in office.
The country's Supreme Court last week upheld a decision to remove an age cap of 75 for presidential contenders, paving the way for Museveni to run again in 2021.
Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, spearheaded protests against the removal of presidential age caps and has signalled he is seriously considering running against Museveni.
The 36-year-old was charged with treason in August last year along with more than 30 opposition politicians over the alleged stoning of Museveni's convoy after a campaign rally in the north-western town of Arua.
Bobi Wine accused the security forces of torturing and beating him while in custody and later received medical treatment in the United States for the injuries he said he received.
The authorities have denied the allegations.