Opposition National Unity Platform leader Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, has claimed that he was detained at Dubai Airport Detention Centre for more than 12 hours as he was quizzed by authorities.
In an interview on Saturday, Bobi Wine claimed that the Ugandan government had instructed the airport officials to block him from holding a charity concert in the country.
However, Mr Okello Oryem, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday described claims that Kampala was involved in Bobi Wine’s detention as “hogwash and rubbish.”
Bobi Wine had gone to Dubai to hold what he called a charity concert seeking to raise funds to bring back hundreds of Ugandans who are stranded in different Middle East countries.
“When I arrived at the airport at about 8pm, I noticed that there was an unusual deployment, so I was taken into a room and they started to interrogate me,” he said in a WhatsApp call.
He added: “They asked me political related questions whether I was going to hold a rally or a music concert.”
The singer-turned politician said after hours of interrogation, he was put in a detention facility at the airport in Dubai where he met many people from different African countries on various charges.
“There were many people and during the time I was with them, they cried about how they are struggling for freedom and many of them knew me and they were calling me by name. These people are held on different cases but I had all the documents needed,” Bobi Wine said.
He said he was later set free and allowed into the country but his concert was blocked. We could not speak to United Arab Emirates to respond to the claims.
Minister Oryem yesterday said the government of Uganda has more serious issues to deal with than Bobi Wine.
“The government has more serious things to do than follow Bobi Wine. He has tried to say things to the whites but they can’t listen to him because they are very bright. I suspect that Bobi Wine had a wrong visa and that is why he was arrested. He should not put it on us,” her said.
“Bobi Wine has been to Ukraine and shot a movie and told Europeans bad things about the Ugandan government but they have not listened to him. He is now out of content and he doesn’t have anything to say so he is forwarding his problems to the NRM government,” he added.
On Saturday, Bobi Wine tweeted that he had been held at the airport. Asked how he was tweeting yet he was already under detention, he said: “I used a public phone to call the administrator of my social media accounts who put the information up. I always have ways of accessing social media.”
Bobi Wine last held a music show in 2017 before the government blocked all the events that he had organised at that time.