Police hunt man seen with pistol at Bobi’s rally

Supporters of NUP leader Bobi Wine claimed the politician was being trailed by a man holding a pistol during his visit to Mbarara City in late August 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY 

What you need to know:

  • Trending images on social media showed an unidentified man seated in a car, and freely holding a pistol.

Police are hunting an unidentified man who was captured on video brandishing a pistol amid a mammoth crowd of Opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine. 

The incident happened during Bobi’s countrywide tour in Mbarara District on August 28, 2023.

“The man was holding a pistol. The good thing is that we have the images and our intelligence organs have interested themselves to get to know who that person was and how he came into possession of a pistol, so it is a subject of investigation,” Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, told journalists in Kampala yesterday.

“The investigations will tell us whether the person is part of NUP (National Unity Platform) party or is an outsider,” he added.

Trending images on social media showed an unidentified man seated in a car, and freely holding a pistol.

The scary scene triggered a public outcry concerning the safety and security of those attending Bobi’s rallies.

Mr Enanga said having a pistol amid a procession or a political rally is dangerous because anything can happen to multitudes of people.

“… This is why we caution that it is better to work with the police force and security to see that we offer security to these events. You cannot police these events on your own, because police are there to ensure that you are safe and secure,” he said.

Terror threats
Mr Enanga also cautioned the Opposition political parties about terror threats before tasking them to be on the lookout as they transverse the country.

“You are aware that some of these mobilisation activities and opening of party offices are being carried out amid an existing [terror] threat. Some of our credible sources of intelligence are indicating that there is vulnerability,” he cautioned.

“Some of these mobilisation tours are vulnerable, especially in the manner that they are conducted because of the nature of the political mobilisation where you find a convoy is moving at snail pace and traffic is highly disrupted, there is congestion which has been built, some of the party leaders are using local and untrained private guards who are not skilled. 

“Some of the guards posture at the top of the vehicles amid thousands of supporters, well-wishers and onlookers. This can easily make them attractive and soft targets to terrorists,” Mr Enanga said.

Police said security agencies can guarantee their safety when they conduct their meetings in town halls, and enclosed settings with a restricted number of participants who are checked and secured with good access controls.

Mr Enanga urged the NUP leadership to work with the district security committees in advance for thorough security planning.

The caution by the police comes barely a week after they recovered six unexploded Improvised Explosive Devises (IED) in Kampala suburbs.

Grassroot support
The NUP party is on a countrywide tour to raise grassroots support. It is an early programme by its leader Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, who still harbours ambition to unseat President Museveni in the 2026 general elections.

Supporters have in the past endured running battles with security forces.