Bobi starts countrywide mobilisation tour amid teargas, police threats ahead of 2026

National Unity Platform, Robert Kyagulanyi waves to supporters on his way to Kamuli District for his mobilisation tour ahead of 2026 general election. PHOTO/ ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

What you need to know:

  • Police fired teargas to disperse his supporters at the New Bridge in Jinja.
  • Bobi Wine encouraged his supporters to maintain dscipline. 
  • There was heavy security deployment in Kamuli District 

National Unity Platform (NUP) President on May 22 started his nationwide mobilisation tour ahead of the 2026 general election despite police threats to block his activities for allegedly failing to cooperate with security agencies.

Moments before setting off from the party headquarters in Makerere Kavule, Kampala to the eastern Uganda District of Kamuli, Mr Kyagulanyi, who contested for presidency and lost to Yoweri Museveni in 2021 said the party leadership had done everything as required within the law and did not expect any interruptions from security operatives. He also appealed to his supporters to maintain discipline during the mobilisation activities.

“We are going to Kamuli to commence our national tour. We pray that all will go well. As usual we encourage our teams to be disciplined. We know that the regime might want to block us but we have done everything within the law and ticked every box,” he said before setting off on Wednesday morning. 
Hours after leaving Kampala, Mr Kyagulanyi was met by a huge crowd of supporters waiting for him at Mbikko, Njeru Town Council, Buikwe District. 

He led a procession up to the New Bridge in Jinja where police fired teargas to disperse the crowd.
It took the intervention of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi who negotiated with the commanding officer before Mr Kyagulanyi and a handful of NUP leaders were allowed to go through. 
However, minutes after driving past the bridge, he was accosted by another group of supporters waiting on the roadside as he headed for Kananage Primary School in Kamuli Municipality to start the second phase of the party’s countrywide tours.

Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Joel Ssenyonyi and National Unity Platform (NUP) secretary general, David Lewis Rubongoya react as NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine waves to supporters at Mbiko in Njeru Municipality on his way to Kamuli District where he's to start his nationwide mobilisation tour. PHOTO/ Abubaker Lubowa

Flanked by hundreds of supporters and over a dozen cars, the musician-cum-politician departed from Amber court junction in Jinja City at around 1 pm.
As per the programme, Bobi Wine will later be in Bugweri, Pallisa and Tororo districts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday respectively, before embarking on a similar tour of Central, Northern, and Western Uganda.
Police Spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, earlier said the Force last year suspended such tours after the party allegedly breached several guidelines it issued, adding that the suspension was still in force until the NUP hierarchy complies with police guidelines.

In Jinja City, however, Mr Kyagulanyi, dressed in his trademark red overall and matching beret, smiled atop a vehicle as he waved at his supporters as security urged his convoy to speed up and clear the highway he had held up for several minutes and exit the hitherto “quiet” town before he came.
To understand their resolve, security did not allow Bobi Wine, his supporters, and convoy to enter Jinja town from Amber Court junction, but guided it out of the City through Kyabazinga Way.

A journalist runs away from teargas fired by police at Bobi Wine supporters at the New Bridge in Jinja

In the build-up to his visit, police patrol vehicles were seen parked at Amber Court Junction, with uniformed and plain-clothed detectives monitoring the situation.
By the time of filing this story, Bobi Wine was out of Jinja City and in Jinja District, closing in on Kamuli District where a standoff with police is imminent.
Busoga North Police Spokesperson, Mr Michael Kasadha, has vowed not to host Bobi Wine in Kamuli District, saying in their letter, the NUP leadership indicated Kananage Primary School as the venue, but it was for training 150 NUP registrars on how to enter members in “Red Books”.

Earlier, Police stormed Kamuli Broadcasting Services and hounded NUP Busoga sub-region coordinator and former Kamuli Municipality Member of Parliament aspirant, Moses Bigirwa off air on allegations of “disguising a talk show as a mobilisation for Bobi Wine’s visit to Kamuli”.
Bigirwa, who had earlier been warned about police action, told his listeners that “the regime was getting panicky, jittery and diversionary” and that it was unfortunate for security to raid the studio over a “usual programme”.

One of NUP's Busoga region coordinators, Mr Moses Bigirwa picked from Kamuli Broadcasting Services by police. PHOTO/ SAM CALEB OPIO

“The raid was uncalled for because we had even informed security that this was a usual programme by a usual talk show activist,” Charles Galimaka, the talk show host, said.
But Mr Kasadha said the arrest was because Mr Bigirwa was “defiant and duped the station as a ploy”.

Police deployed in Kamuli ahead of Bobi Wine visit. PHOTO/ SAM CALEB OPIO

According to Mr Kasadha, the teargas that was used to disperse the crowds and the few arrests of some five NUP mobilisers in Kamuli was to ensure “compliance” with security and laws.
“There was some scuffle by some members and we came in and dispersed them; some had started organising hooligans to cause chaos to turn rowdy; so, we had to swing in action and pick them,” he added.