Freed Bobi Wine warns President Museveni as city protest death toll rises to 49

Iganga Magistrate’s Court on November 19, 2020 charged opposition leader Bobi Wine over an election rally which allegedly flouted COVID-19 rules, then freed him on bail, after his detention sparked violence that left 49 people dead. COURTESY PHOTO

Iganga, Uganda | URN | The National Unity Platform [NUP] presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has been granted a non-cash bail by Iganga Chief Magistrate’s Court after being charged with acts likely to spread COVID-19 disease.

Kyagulanyi whose arrest on Wednesday 18th sparked off protests all over the country that led to the death of more than 50 people and injuring more than 130 others. Kyagulanyi told court that there’s no reason as to why he should be court because he has not committed any offence. 

“It is my opinion that this case should not be Uganda vs Kyagulanyi. This case should actually be Uganda vs Museveni. You know that it is Museveni who is supposed to be in this dock for killing innocent citizens and for committing crimes against humanity.

Your honour am not here because I committed any crime, am here because I offered myself to lead Ugandan into ending 35 years of dictatorship,” an exhausted and frail-looking Kyagulanyi said. 

“Even though I have been released, at least temporarily, this is no happy day, we mourn the death of more than 37 innocent who were murdered by this murderous regime. I have learnt that more than 500 people were arrested…

They brutalized and tortured us in order to break our resolve. I have news for you Mr. Museveni and all those who work for him, we are not your slaves. Ugandans refuse to be your slaves. You can pepper spray us and break our bodies but you can’t touch and break our spirit and soul…We are not giving up, we shall continue fighting for our freedom.

To the people of Uganda, do not give up, they cannot kill us all. Ugandans, nobody is going to fight for you, you have to fight for your freedom. Mr Museveni that presidential chair that is making you gloat will soon be no more because the people are going to oust you from power,” said Kyagulanyi. 

Ugandan musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi (R), also known as Bobi Wine, appears at the court with his wife Barbara Itungo, in Iganga, on November 19, 2020. (Photo by Badru KATUMBA / AFP)

Yesterday, President Museveni warned protestors that they will regret ever attacking his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters. Mr Museveni said very soon they will lose the appetite of even touching an abandoned NRM T-shirt on the streets.

Today, the army in a statement, said they will carry out ‘pre-emptive and decisive’ operations to deal with any riots and protests. Earlier, according to lawyer Nkunyingi Muwada, soldiers stormed the court session and confiscated Kyagulanyi’s torn clothes that had been brought to court as evidence. 

Death toll rises to 49

Meanwhile, the death toll from Kyagulanyi’s protests has now risen to 49. According to records at Mulago hospital mortuary, 37 bodies were brought to the mortuary from different hospitals, while 12 are patients died from injuries at the hospital on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th.

Read Also: Police has a right to kill if attacked, warns Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine

David Niwamanya, the Mulago hospital principal administrator, says that some of the patients died on arrival at the hospital while others died in the process of being operated to remove the bullets.  

Opposition candidates come together

Opposition presidential candidates today met and released a joint statement. The statement signed by Gen Mugisha Muntu, Gen Henry Tumukunde, Norbert Mao, Dr. Lina Zedriga who represented Kyagulanyi and Ambassador Wasswa Biriggwa who represented Patrick Oboi Amuriat resolved the following;

  • We’re in this together as leaders who are responding to a failing state.
  • We shall avoid attacking each other and thus deny the regime the opportunity to divide us in the field.
  • We agree on a common understanding of each other’s position in order to avoid contradictions that may play into the hands of the regime.
  • We pledge to work together in areas of common interests. Where we don’t agree we shall strive to understand each other. If one of us is arrested, harassed or mishandled, we shall all stand together in solidarity.
  • We have agreed to design a common response to the arrests, brutalizations and harassment of candidates aimed at denying them access to the electorate. We’re on different fronts but our cause is the same – CHANGE.