Bobi fears for life, calls off campaigns

Wednesday December 02 2020
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NUP party presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine stands inspects his car whose windscreen was allegedly shattered by security personnel in Jinja on December 2, 2020. PHOTO/ ABUBAKER LUBOWA

By DERRICK WANDERA
By Denis Edema

Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, yesterday suspended his campaigns after police shot one of his aides and wounded a police bodyguard identified as Wilfred Kato Kubai.  

Bobi’s right-hand man Daniel Oyerwot, aka Dan Magic, survived with mutilated lips as police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse Bobi Wine’s supporters at Kyampisi Trading Centre, Kayunga District.  
The injured were rushed to Nazigo Health Centre III before they were moved to Mulago National Referral Hospital for better management.                                                                                            
Bobi Wine’s car was also shot at as he attempted to bypass a military blockade as he arrived in Jinja City for his second rally. 
At the old Nile Bridge, police and army personnel who had been heavily deployed diverted him towards Budondo Village where he was set to address his supporters.   But after the diversion, Mr Kyagulanyi tried to use force to access Jinja City through one of the roads that had been blocked by police and the army. The army instantly shot his car tyres and shattered the windscreen. 

In the midst of the fracas, Mr Kyagulanyi and his supporters kept yelling at security for blocking his campaign meetings. 
Mr Kyagulanyi, who is running for presidency on National Unity Platform (NUP) party ticket, told journalists in Kayunga that he was compelled to suspend his campaigns as a protest against “the continued brutality and killing of his supporters.”  

The NUP leader has accused the Justice Simon Byabakama-led Electoral Commission (EC) of keeping silent even as police continue to target his supporters. He asked his supporters to remain calm and indicated that he would seek a meeting with EC today to discuss the way forward. 
“We have been brutalised and killed but the EC has continuously remained silent on these matters. Do they want me killed before they come out? Are they even in charge of this election or they are hoodwinking Ugandans?” Mr Kyagulanyi said shortly after the Jinja shooting. 

He added: “Over 100 people were killed two weeks ago during the riots, although the government only mentioned 54. I was abducted at the nomination centre right in front of EC, my campaigns have been blocked and just yesterday, five people were killed. In all this, EC has been quiet. Tomorrow we shall go and face them and demand for these answers.” 

Yesterday’s shootings in Kayunga and Jinja came exactly five days after EC wrote to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Martins Okoth Ochola, asking him to stop blocking presidential candidates and indicated that they have a right to move and access the designated campaign venues, and hold their campaign meetings, in compliance with the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as issued by the Commission.
Mr Paul Bukenya, the acting EC spokesperson, told Daily Monitor last evening that the EC had seen images of the confrontation between police and Mr Kyagulanyi and that they were ready to receive his complaints. 

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“Mr Kyagulanyi is a registered candidate and he is free to come and express himself on any issues as long as he is not comfortable. It is unfortunate that the police are acting this way but our means have always been on engaging the stakeholders,” Mr Bukenya said. 
Bobi Wine had early at 7.30am set off from his Magere home in Wakiso District to head to Kayunga District for his campaign through Gayaza Road. His cars were followed by boda bodas and supporters chanting freedom songs as well as NUP slogans. 

About 200 metres away from Nakifuma in Mukono District, teargas and bullet started flowing as police battled NUP supporters. Police dispersed the supporters but they quickly regrouped.
Mr Daudi Hiriga Were, the Kiira Region police commander, who headed the operation, said Bobi Wine had flouted their orders to follow certain routes which led the of police to fire teargas at the supporters. 
“We have been directing him to use certain roads, which he refused to comply with and as police, we have to swing into action,” Mr Higira said. 


Background
Some of the shooting incidents 
November 3: Police shoot at Bobi Wine supporters using rubber bullets in Kampala.
November 11: Police use rubber bullets to disperse supporters of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat. 
November 18:  Police shoot and kill 54 people as they quell protests in different parts of the country following the arrest of National Unity Platform (NUP) party presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine. At least 22 people of those killed were counted as collateral damage. 
November 19: The shooting continue on the second day of the protests in Kampala and other areas.

November 20: Police deny Mr Amuriat access to Moyo District, something that leads to a confrontation between the police and Mr Amuriat and his supporters. Police fire teargas and bullets to disperse the angry supporters.
November 24: Police use bullets to disperse Bobi Wine supporters in Kasese District.
December 1: Police shoot Bobi Wine aide and body guard as they clash with his supporters in Kayunga. A stray bullet almost hits Bobi Wine. They also shoot at his vehicle.

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