Uganda

  1. Bobi Wine back on the campaign trail

    Bobi Wine with his supporters

    Uganda's presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, has said that he will resume campaigning on Thursday, after a meeting with the electoral commission.

    He told reporters that he had asked the electoral body to protect opposition politicians from harassment by the security forces.

    If they can't do it, they should resign, Bobi Wine said.

    He told the commission to ensure that the security forces stop blocking roads and venues to prevent opposition candidates from campaigning.

    The police have repeatedly defended themselves, saying they were implementing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Bobi Wine suspended his campaign on Tuesday, after his team members were injured as security forces dispersed his supporters in the east of the capital, Kampala.

    A policeman belonging to a security detail protecting presidential candidates was also injured.

    Uganda will hold its election in January 2021.

  2. Uganda's Bobi Wine suspends election campaign

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Bobi Wine
    Image caption: Bobi Wine has been campaigning ahead of the election in January

    Ugandan presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, has suspended his campaigns, following the injuring of members of his campaign team and damage to his car.

    The opposition candidate says bullets were fired at his car, puncturing the tyres and rendering it immobile.

    Videos shared by his campaign team on social media showed a yet to be identified object exploding meters away from him.

    Earlier in Kayunga, east of Kampala, armed forces fired tear gas to disperse his supporters.

    Four members of his campaign team were injured.

    One of them, identified as music producer Dan Magic was hit in the face.

    A police officer who is part of the security detail given to presidential candidates by the Electoral Commission also suffered head injuries.

    Bobi Wine says he will visit the Electoral Commission on Wednesday to voice his discontent.

    Almost two weeks ago, 54 people died in protests as the candidates' supporters called for his release from detention.

    He had been arrested at a campaign rally.

    Bobi Wine was later charged with violating pandemic restrictions on gathering of crowds and granted bail.

    The security forces have continued to block him and other opposition politicians’ rallies.

    In a national address on Sunday, President Yoweri Museveni, defended the actions of the police and army, saying that no politician was untouchable.

    Campaigns for the January elections have continued to heat up as they draw closer to the capital.

  3. Several injured as police disperse Bobi Wine supporters

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Police arrest a protester
    Image caption: Two weeks ago 54 people were killed in protests - pictured here - against Bobi Wine's arrest

    Several people have been injured as security forces dispersed supporters of Ugandan presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, in Kayunga, near Kampala.

    Four members of his campaign team have been injured. One of them, identified as Bobi Wine's music producer Dan Magic, was hit in the face.

    A police officer who is part of the security detail given to presidential candidates by the Electoral Commission also suffered head injuries.

    Almost two weeks ago, 54 people died in protests as the candidates' supporters called for his release from detention. He had been arrested at a campaign rally.

    Bobi Wine was later charged with violating pandemic restrictions on gathering of crowds and granted bail.

    Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni condemned protesters and warned opposition politicians who he said misled young people to get involved in violence.

  4. Ugandan leader warns opposition in national address

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Musician turned politician Bobi Wine
    Image caption: Bobi Wine is looking to unseat Museveni, who has ruled the country for 34 years

    Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has condemned protesters and warned opposition politicians who he said mislead the youth to get involved in violence.

    He was addressing the country on Sunday about the violence sparked by the arrest of musician-turned-presidential candidate Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi. Police said 54 people died during the protests nearly two weeks ago.

    The president said that the idea that there would be riots if Mr Kyagulanyi was arrested must never be repeated. No politician is untouchable, Mr Museveni said.

    The president claimed some political players had paid gangs that had declared parts of the capital Kampala ungovernable, attacking uniformed police officers on patrol.

    He condemned people who were filmed attacking law enforcement officers and people dressed in yellow, the ruling party colour.

    Mr Museveni said this would never happen again because the perpetrators had "tasted the consequences of playing with fire".

    The president said the original mistake was that the presidential candidates violated coronavirus prevention restrictions on crowds with impunity.

    He also extended condolences to Ugandans who lost loved ones during the protests, and said that the government would compensate the families.

    Bobi Wine is looking to unseat Mr Museveni, who has ruled the country for 34 years, in the January 2021 elections.

    Read:

    Deadly protests after pop star politician arrested

  5. 'You have to be the voice of the voiceless' - A Pass

    DJ Edu

    This Is Africa

    A Pass

    A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to Nigerian musicians who were using their platforms and fanbases to draw the world’s attention to the #EndSARS protest movement. This week I’ve been talking to Ugandan reggae and dancehall artist A Pass, who’s been speaking out about recent events in his country.

    Presidential candidate Bobi Wine, himself a musician, was arrested, accused of breaching Covid-19 rules, and, in violence that followed between protesters and the security forces at least 28 people were killed.

    Quote Message: Some of the police guys and army guys are shooting and killing Ugandans and that’s really crazy and that’s why we are ranting and having all these things going on on social media."

    A Pass feels passionately that musicians like himself have an obligation to use their voices against injustice:

    Quote Message: What do you expect an artist to do? You being known is amazing, but you can’t be known and not speak up for the majority. Remember that the people made you who you are, so it’s only right to have a social responsibility. We cannot be silent when we see people being killed. You have to be the voice of the voiceless."

    A Pass gives short shift to those artists who might be afraid of the consequences for themselves:

    Quote Message: I should not worry about my life and what will happen to me if I say what I say. It hurts when you are doing a lot and you know other people are just keeping quiet. Why do you have so much energy to post when you are performing but you don’t have energy when people are killed in the streets to say anything? What has the government done to me? I have been vocal since 2014.
    Quote Message: OK you could see Bobi Wine being put in such a position but they’re not putting him in such a position because he’s an artist, they’re putting him in that position because he’s a presidential candidate. You shouldn’t keep your voice to yourself when you see other people dying in the streets. You cannot be a coward to that level."

    The full interview will be broadcast on This Is Africa this Saturday, on BBC World Service radio, and partner stations across Africa.

  6. Uganda sees biggest increase in coffee exports in decades

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Man picking coffee beans

    Uganda's earnings from coffee exports are the highest they've been in 30 years.

    It accounts for about 17% of the country's foreign income, and more than 70% of households grow coffee, mostly on small plots.

    But in the 1990s, the sector was nearly destroyed by low global market prices coupled with disease and neglect.

    Uganda’s robusta coffee crop was nearly wiped out by coffee wilt disease, and it has taken years of scientific research to revive it.

    By 2017, scientists had developed seven high-yielding, wilt-resistant and drought-tolerant varieties of robusta, which were distributed to farmers.

    Almost all coffee in Uganda, except in a few up-and-coming larger farms, is grown by smallholders. The government has been on an intense production campaign since 2014, giving out over 700 million seedlings to farmers, and more than doubling the acreage under coffee.

    Uganda Coffee Development Authority Managing Director Emmanuel Iyamuremye says consumers now want to know the origin of their coffee.

    The authority has a coffee-cupping laboratory in Kampala where scientists make sure that coffee from every region is identifiable by its taste and beans.

    Through the tasting and branding, coffee consumers will soon be able to trace a cup of coffee right down to its farm of origin.

  7. Ugandan politician jailed for calling judges 'fools'

    Uganda's Supreme Court has jailed a former presidential aspirant for using abusive language against them, including calling them "incompetent fools".

    Ivan Samuel Ssebadduka was sentenced to three years in prison for contempt of court, according to local media.

    Mr Ssebadduka had in September filed a petition at the Supreme Court seeking to stop a requirement for presidential aspirants to collect nomination signatures.

    He also wanted the court to suspend coronavirus safety restrictions issued by the health ministry on the conduct of campaign rallies.

    He used the offensive remarks when defending the petition before the judges

    Chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi-Dollo was quoted as saying that criticism against judges should be accurate and fair and should not infringe on the the rights of others.

    View more on youtube
  8. Uganda police 'surround Bobi Wine's hotel'

    Police in Uganda on Wednesday night surrounded a hotel where presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, and his campaign team stayed in Hoima town, west of the country.

    Bobi Wine earlier tweeted that he had to use a long route into the town after the military had blocked him.

    "They've followed us to our hotel and surrounded it," he wrote.

    Uganda's NTV channel tweeted that "the motive for this operation is not yet clear".

    Bobi Wine shared photos of police outside the hotel:

    View more on twitter

    Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper reported that Bobi Wine had been denied access to an area in the town where he was set to feature as a guest on a radio show.

    Candidates in January's election are encouraged to campaign through the media and avoid attracting huge crowds because of coronavirus.

    Bobi Wine was last week arrested and charged with flouting coronavirus prevention restrictions during a public appearance.

  9. Death toll in Uganda's unrest rises to 45

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Ugandan musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi (C), also known as Bobi Wine, comforts a woman who lost her husband during the prayer for the victims of the protest against his arrrest
    Image caption: Security minister said police have a right to shoot and kill

    Police in Uganda have said that the death toll from last week's protests has gone up to 45.

    The Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, on Monday said that 39 men and six women had died.

    A local media house has quoted security sources as saying that most of the shooting was carried out by plain-clothed operatives, who were recorded by members of the public brandishing guns in the streets.

    Security Minister Gen Elly Tumwiine on Friday told the media that police and other security forces have a right to shoot and kill if protesters "reach a certain level of violence".

    Police said that 11 officers had been attacked and injured by protesters.

    Sporadic protests broke out in the capital, Kampala, and other towns as demonstrators called for the release of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, who had been arrested at a campaign rally.

    After two days in detention, he was charged with flouting Coronavirus prevention restrictions and granted bail. He is now back on the campaign trail.

  10. Uganda minister: Police have a right to kill you

    Ugandan police
    Image caption: Police in Uganda have a record of brutality

    Uganda's Security Minister Elly Tumwine has backed police action after 37 people were killed on Wednesday and Thursday following clashes with supporters of opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine.

    In a media briefing Mr Tumwine said:

    Quote Message: Police have a right to shoot you and kill you if you reach a certain level of violence. Can I repeat? Police have a right to shoot you and you die for nothing."

    Bobi Wine appeared in court on Friday and has been released on bail after being charged with spreading coronavirus.

    He has been accused of failing to adhere to health measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus while campaigning for next year's election.

    Uganda government spokesman Don Wanyama told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that security officers could not "just fold their arms and allow anarchy to happen".

    He added that the police were responding to a security breach in the capital, Kampala.

    He also defended President Yoweri Museveni for adhering to health protocols.

    Mr Wanyama said:

    Quote Message: President Museveni who is the NRM presidential candidate, I think has stuck by the rules that were issued by the electoral commission and the ministry of health... but unfortunately for the opposition they have chosen to take a path of defiance placing their supporters and the wider public at risk."
  11. Uganda's electoral body urged to suspend campaigns

    A Ugandan human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo has urged the country's electoral body to suspend ongoing election campaigns and issue fresh guidelines.

    He told the BBC's Newsday programme that the arrest of opposition candidates does not seem to be related to Covid-19 guidelines.

    Mr Opiyo said the ruling party had drawn huge crowds during ongoing campaigns and none of its candidates had been arrested.

    "We don't think this is about Covid guidelines, we think this is about politics and the election because government candidates have also been shown with large crowds and yet been escorted peacefully by police," he said.

    Mr Opiyo said candidates cannot control the crowds that turn out in their rallies and criticised the police for using violence against opposition supporters.

    "Police officers who we know, who we have documented shooting and killing innocent civilians, unarmed civilians, must be held to account and be prosecuted if government is to show its commitment to a peaceful and lawful electoral process," he said.

    Listen to the full interview:

    Video content

    Video caption: The authorities say the opposition candidate was arrested for violating Covid guidelines
  12. Uganda deploys more soldiers amid protests

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Ugandan riot policemen detain a supporter of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, in Luuka district, eastern Uganda November 18, 2020.
    Image caption: Police detain a supporter of presidential candidate Bobi Wine in eastern Uganda

    Uganda's military has increased deployment of troops in the capital, Kampala, and in major towns to counter protests that broke out following the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine.

    The East African country will hold elections in January 2021, but the early weeks of campaigning have been marked by an alarming amount of violence.

    At least 28 people have died across the country during the protests, and more than 500 people have been arrested, according to the police.

    Deputy army spokesperson, Colonel Deo Akiiki, has told the media that soldiers will be deployed at all major roads leading into the capital.

    There will also be an increased security presence at sensitive areas such as fuel reservoirs and petrol stations.

    A 21:00 local time curfew will be strictly enforced with immediate effect.

    The curfew was already in place as a coronavirus safety measure, but the public were not strictly adhering to it.

    Since Wednesday, groups of young people have set up barricades, burnt tyres and piles of rubbish in the streets of Kampala and other towns.

    They were met with a violent police response and dispersed with tear gas.

    Bobi Wine was arrested at an election rally in the east of the country, accused of violating coronavirus prevention guidelines. After two days in police custody, the politician has been arraigned in court.

    Several opposition presidential candidates suspended their campaigns, calling for Bobi Wine to be released.

  13. Tensions high in Uganda after Bobi Wine arrest

    Video content

    Video caption: The authorities say the opposition candidate was arrested for violating Covid guidelines

    "We don't think this is about Covid guidelines... because ruling government candidates... have also been shown with large crowds and yet being escorted peacefully by police."

  14. Tear gas fired to disperse protesters in Uganda

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Ugandan riot policemen fire tear gas canisters to disperse supporters of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, in Luuka district
    Image caption: Bobi Wine’s supporters are calling for him to be released from police detention

    Teargas and live bullets have been fired in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, to disperse people protesting against the arrest of Ugandan presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine.

    There is a heavy police presence in different parts of the city.

    In some of the streets in the central business district, roads have been blocked with burning tyres and piles of rubbish on some streets in the central business district

    Traders were closing their premises and coming out in their hundreds, hands in the air, trying to make it past the security forces.

    A plain-clothed, stick-wielding squad was also seen chasing and beating people.

    Security forces were entering some of the shopping malls to chase people out, or firing tear gas inside to smoke them out.

    Bobi Wine’s supporters are calling for him to be released from police detention. He was arrested at a campaign rally in the east of the country on Wednesday and the police are accusing him of flouting coronavirus prevention guidelines against drawing crowds.

    He has not yet been charged.

    Police have said that seven people died, and dozens were injured, in protests on Wednesday.

  15. Uganda protests death toll rises to seven

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Bobi Wine's supporters protest in Kampala, Uganda, on November 18, 2020.
    Image caption: Bobi Wine's supporters protested to demand his release

    The death toll from Wednesday’s protests against the arrest of Ugandan presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, has risen to seven, police say.

    A spokesperson has told the BBC that more than 40 people had also been injured in the protests.

    Police have still not explained the cause of the deaths or the nature of the injuries.

    Graphic videos and photos shared on social media showed several people lying in the streets covered in blood, allegedly shot dead.

    A Uganda Red Cross statement said that their frontline workers had assisted 11 people with gunshot wounds.

    Meanwhile, opposition presidential candidates have suspended their campaigns, calling for fellow contestants to be released.

    Retired army generals Mugisha Muntu and Henry Tumukunde also demanded that police stop violence against candidates and the public.

    Campaign events for several opposition candidates have been broken up or blocked by the police.

    Bobi Wine was arrested at a campaign rally in the east of the country on Wednesday. The police bundled him into a van, claiming that he had drawn a crowd larger than the 200 people recommended by the Electoral Commission, as a Coronavirus prevention measure.

    His lawyers say he has yet to be charged.

  16. US condemns violence amid Ugandan protests

    The US has condemned the violence that gripped Uganda's capital, Kampala, and other major towns following Wednesday's arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, known as musician Bobi Wine.

    Bobi Wine was arrested during an election rally in the eastern district of Luuka after being accused of violating coronavirus guidelines set by the electoral commission.

    His supporters have called for his release.

    Police said three people died and dozens were injured in the protests.

    The US mission there has urged "all parties to renounce violence" and to undertake measures to reduce tensions.

    View more on twitter

    Uganda will hold presidential elections in January.

    Watch:

    Singer and president battle for Uganda's youth vote

  17. Ugandan presidential candidate suspends campaigns

    Ugandan presidential candidate, Mugisha Muntu, has suspended campaigns until other opposition candidates who were arrested on Wednesday are released.

    Mr Muntu called for the release of Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, and Patrick Amuriat.

    The two candidates were arrested separately during their campaigns.

    The arrest of Bobi Wine has sparked protests in the country that have led to the death of three people.

    Mr Muntu asked the government not to be reckless during the campaign period as the situation was volatile:

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