Police yesterday blocked a radio talk show in Hoima City and chased National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, out of the studios.
The Spice FM management said this was the second time the Kyadondo East MP was being prevented from speaking on the radio despite booking to be on the talk show.
Mr Andre Mega Kaahwa, the radio manager, said Bobi Wine had booked for space on Wednesday but he was blocked. He added that they advised him to appear in the morning for the same political talk show but the Residence District Commissioner (RDC) called, asking the manager not to host the musician-turned politician.
“He cleared his money for one hour but just after he had talked for three minutes, the police and army raided the studios and threw him out. The RDC had called, telling me not to host Kyagulanyi but because I knew that there is no law that prevents someone from appearing on radio, I went on to host him,” Mr Kaahwa said in an interview.
Mr Julius Kahika, the Albertine regional police spokesperson, said Bobi Wine’s time to be in the district had elapsed and he could not be in the same area with his counterpart, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat, who campaigned there yesterday.
“He was meant to leave for Masindi and Kiryandongo districts; why did he have to be here at the same time when the FDC candidate was here? We wanted to prevent the commotion in town, so we had to send him away from here,” Mr Kahika explained.
After failing to address the people of Hoima District on Wednesday, Bobi Wine decided to pay Spice FM radio for the 9pm political talk show.
But as soon as he moved into his hotel room to prepare for his campaign meetings in the district, police and army laid siege on his door, saying they had orders to stop him from leaving the hotel. The standoff that lasted for more than four hours ended a few minutes towards midnight.
“This is the fifth time they are blocking me from talking to my supporters ….they have blocked me from appearing on radio to campaign yet I had fully paid for the airtime and booked for the shows,” Mr Kyagulanyi told Daily Monitor yesterday.
On November 15, Bobi Wine was meant to appear on Eastern Voice Radio in Bugiri but police and army blocked him, saying it was past the time. They insisted that all electoral programmes ought to end by 6pm. A fortnight ago, Bobi Wine also missed radio talk shows in Mbale, Mbarara and Soroti.
Mr Amuriat was also blocked in Soroti District last week when he talked for more than 30 minutes on a radio that had been switched off on orders of the local leaders.
Mr Kyagulanyi told Daily Monitor he had sought Electoral Commission redress over the matter.
Yesterday, the EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama wrote to police, saying presidential candidates have a right to campaign in different districts as scheduled.
Yesterday, Bobi Wine was also blocked from campaigning in Masindi District. But he campaigned in Buliisa and Kiryandongo districts where he promised to give people the power to hold their leaders accountable.
What voters say
Mr John Bosco Mwesigwa, a voter in Buliisa: «We have been denied the chance to grow our talents and the education system is bad. We hope the candidates can address the problems in the education sector and improve service delivery in other areas.»
Ms Rebecca Amooti, resident of Hoima city «We didn’t hear him because he did not speak to us at the rally. Now if we can’t listen to him through the radio then that means we have lost. We need the EC to address this problem so that he can come back and talk to the people.»