Uganda: ‘King’ Museveni Bows to International Pressure, Allows Visit to Defiant Bobi Wine, Releases Barbie

Eight days after he was placed under house arrest, Ugandan pop star turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi, who is popularly known by his stage name Bobi Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi have received their first guests.

Security forces allowed lawyers of the musician to visit them for the first time, since he was first placed under house arrest for disputing the results of Uganda’s just concluded presidential election.

“Today at around 3.30 pm (Ugandan time) a total of eight lawyers led by Hon. Asuman Basilirwa who form part of Hon Kyagulanyi’s legal team, visited him at his home in Magere,” said Luke Owosigire, the deputy spokesperson for Kampala metropolitan police Thursday, January 21.

The lawyers could visit Bobi Wine’s house, hours after they filed a habeas corpus application, seeking orders that would compel security forces to produce the singer and his wife before the courts in case, the duo had committed a crime.   

Barbara Kyagulanyi is freed, but determine to stand by her man Bobi Wine all the way (C) The Tower Post

The Kampala High Court promised to pronounce itself on the release of Bobi Wine on Monday, January 25, but managed to get relief for the wife, as the government now says it is no longer interested in keeping her locked up.

On Monday, Ms. Itungo’s attempt to leave home was blocked by security. The artiste’s wife had told police she was going out to her garden to collect food, as the family had run out of supplies, but this attempt was blocked by security that is now surrounding the Kyagilanyis home.  

The habeas corpus application came a day after a renowned Nigerian Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana filed a complaint with the United Nation’s working group on arbitrary detention.

“Mr. Wine and his wife are being illegally detained for days without any criminal charges preferred against him. He has also been denied adequate supply of food by hundreds of Uganda military forces and policemen who have laid siege to his house for the umpteenth time since the election day,” reads the complaint in part.

Nigeria's no-nonsense Advocate Femi Falana poised to serve Museveni a bitter menu (C) The Nigerian Voice

The government has said it has to keep Bobi Wine under house arrest, as he is likely to cause insecurity, by mobilizing his supporters to protest the just concluded presidential election results.  

Results released by Uganda’s Electoral Commission on January 16, show that President Yoweri Museveni won the election with 59 per cent, while Bobi Wine who came second got 35 per cent.

Bobi Wine disputes this result and has kept this stance despite the continued incarceration.    

“Yes, for standing and defeating Gen. Museveni in an election which he resoundingly rigged, I am still under house arrest 8 days later. I thank all friends in Uganda and abroad who continue to stand with us, until we put an end to this indignity, Uganda will be free,” says Bobi Wine in a tweet.