KAMPALA – Ugandan police on Tuesday again arrested Bobi Wine, a popular singer and opposition presidential hopeful, shortly after he was successfully certified as a candidate in next year's election.
Wine, who is bidding to unseat Uganda’s long-time leader, was dragged from his car by police. The local NBS Television, reporting from the scene, said the singer, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was put into a police van amid violent scuffles between police and his supporters.
He was returned to his house later Tuesday on the outskirts of Kampala, the capital.
“The authority I have is the same authority you have,” he told a cheering crowd of his supporters. “Don't give up. Those who have cameras, use them. Those who have lips, use them. Those who have hands, use them. Those who have legs, use them."
Earlier, the dusty area outside his home was the scene of skirmishes between his supporters and police who fired tear gas into the compound, according to Joel Ssenyonyi, a spokesman for Wine’s People Power movement.
“There are running battles,” Ssenyonyi said from the scene. "It’s quite chaotic.”
Ugandan police said in a statement that Wine was forcibly removed from his vehicle because authorities feared he had “plans of holding illegal processions” into Kampala following his certification. Another presidential candidate, Patrick Amuriat of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, was similarly arrested.
“Plans have been put in place to effectively address groups that decide to act unlawfully,” the police statement said.