Ugandan pop star MP Bobi Wine arrested on arrival: lawyer


Ugandan security deployed on the streets of the capital and controlled roads leading to the worldwide airport on Thursday ahead of the return MP Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as singer Bobi Wine.

Residents in his neighbourhood told Reuters that they had attempted to wait for him on streets near his home but were chased away by security forces.

To ensure their directeives were heeded to, the Police and army deployed in and around Kampala and Entebbe, including parts of Kasangati, Kamwokya and at his home in Magere.

Police also surrounded the home of Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago, and he was unable to leave, said another of the singer's lawyers, opposition legislator Medard Sseggona.

Kyagulanyi's case sparked protests in Uganda's capital Kampala and drew worldwide condemnation from the government's major backers including the European Union and the U.S. The Pentagon has donated equipment and weapons to the unit of the Ugandan military accused by Kyagulanyi of torturing him.

He said in a tweet on Wednesday he was "headed home" and showed a picture of himself at an airport holding a walking stick. "He (Bobi) is heading home".

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni

Bobi Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, had sought treatment in the US for injuries allegedly sustained during torture after arrest last month by members of the presidential guard, which Uganda's government denies. Armoured personnel carriers and police vehicles lined the highway.

Earlier, several Ugandan journalists from different media houses were blocked from accessing airport.

Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi returned to the country and was peacefully escorted by the police to his residence in Magere, Wakiso District.

Social media users accused the government of taking draconian methods to keep citizens and opposition politicians at bay.

Uganda Communications Commission had banned live coverage of Mr Kyagulanyi's return.

Police took away Ugandan opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi as he got off a plane at the country's main airport on Thursday but a police official denied he was under arrest and a government official said he had been taken to his home. The crowd gathered rapidly, prompting police and soldiers to push them back before firing live bullets and teargas to disperse them.