(3 mins read)
Kampala, the capital of Uganda has erupted with protests over the past few days due to the government’s decision to arrest singer and opposition party leader Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi).
The Security Minister, Elly Tumwine has commented on the protests saying that “Police have a right to shoot protesters dead if they reach a certain level of violence.” This is unnerving as the death toll has now risen to 37 people due to police brutality. Images posted on social media showed police in Kampala firing indiscriminately at people in buildings overlooking the protests and unidentifiable men in plain clothes, believed to be security personnel, firing automatic weapons.
Police state that, more than 350 people have been arrested during the protests but these figures are suspected to be much less than the actual number.
Bobi Wine was initially arrested for spreading coronavirus at a campaign rally and has now been charged for contravention of the public health act, an offense that attracts up to seven years in prison. But human rights groups say the charge is a hoax used by the government to suppress the opposition ahead of elections due in January. Bobi is one of a new generation of politicians across Africa who are challenging longtime leaders, he appeals mainly to the younger, more educated generation who are dissatisfied with the old governmental ways of ruling.
Robert Kyagulanyi, is among 11 candidates challenging President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power since 1986, over 3 decades, and who has been accused of using violence against political rivals. Though he has always denied such charges, Bobi offers many a beacon of hope for the future of Uganda but as for the present, officials say soldiers will be placed at major roads leading into Kampala and a 21:00 curfew will be strictly enforced.
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