Bobi Wine grabbed by security at Entebbe, driven home

A video graB showing Bobi Wine's alleged arrest at Entebbe Airport on October 5, 2023. PHOTO/ COURTESY

National Unity Platform (NUP) principal, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine was Thursday picked by security operatives upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport from his international mobilization tours and whisked away.

"He was picked off the plane and driven to an unknown destination. Up to now, we cannot speculate his whereabouts," NUP Secretary General, David Lewis Rubongoya told journalists at a security checkpoint along Entebbe Kampala highway where he had been blocked from proceeding to Entebbe Airport.

A video recording shared on social media and seen by this reporter showed a group of non-uniformed security operatives grabbing the former presidential contender as he disembarked the plane before shoving him into a waiting van that sped off.

He was grabbed alongside Katikamu South Member of Parliament, Hassan Kirumira and driven to his home in Magere, Wakiso District before he was visited by the Leader of Opposition in parliament, Mathias Mpuuga. 

"We wish to inform the public that the NUP President, Hon. Kyagulanyi Robert was successfully escorted by our security team from Entebbe to his home in Magere. He reached his home around 11.20am, and is with his family and friends. Disregard rumors of his arrest by propagandists. Meanwhile, business activities and movements along Entebbe road, within Kampala and Gayaza, are flowing smoothly," Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango said Thursday.

NUP officials say over 300 of their supporters, mostly party leaders were arrested between Wednesday and Thursday morning ahead of the party president's arrival from his mobilisation tours in Canada and South Africa.
Meanwhile, there's heavy deployment of police and the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) at Mr Kyagulanyi's home. 

A video recording earlier shared on social media by Mr Kyagulanyi's wife, Barbie Itungo showed a police helicopter hovering over their roof.
"There's heavy deployment outside. See the police helicopter hovering over our roof. My husband has not yet arrived. He was taken upon his arrival at Entebbe. I'm here alone with the children," she said moments before one of their security guards was also arrested from the home.
Police warned Wednesday that the procession to welcome Mr Kyagulanyi was illegal and would likely disrupt traffic flow as well as attract acts of criminality.
“The organisers of this welcome back event are advised to stop the mobilisation and members of the public are also advised not to participate in an illegality. Security agencies will make sure that no one engages in illegal possession and whoever will be arrested will be taken to courts of law,” Mr Onyango told journalists in Kampala on Wednesday.

The return of politicians at Entebbe International Airport has often been chaotic. In May 2011 during the swearing-in of President Museveni, there were running battles between supporters of Dr Kizza Besigye, who had lost a presidential election, as his supporters welcomed him from Nairobi, Kenya, where he had gone for treatment.