Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has been remanded to Luzira Prison until May 2, 2019 after being charged with disobedience of statutory duty, an offence he committed in July last year.
Mr Wine was arraigned at Buganda Road Court in Kampala on Monday alongside his brother Mr Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, Mr David Lulue and Mr Edward Sebufu for holding an illegal protest against imposition of tax on social media networks.
He will return to court on Thursday for the mention of his case.
‘COURT ON TRIAL’
When asked if he had anything to tell the court before he was detained, Wine said: “Your honour thank you for this opportunity. I’m confident because indeed it’s not me on trial; It’s the court itself on trial. I have not committed any crime. I’m only here because I disagree with the political leadership of this country and in particular President Museveni. But my spirit is confident because I’m here not because I’ve stolen public funds or killed somebody. I’m glad that I’m here because I’m fighting for them, you (magistrate) and everybody in this country. I’m here for protesting against unfair taxation and injustice. So if I’m to go through this oppression and pain for the betterment of my country so be it. At least I know that history will absolve me.”
Ugandan police arrested Wine on Monday, April 29, 2019, after he complied with a summons to appear before the Criminal Investigations Directorate.
The Kyagulanyi MP was elected to Uganda’s parliament in 2017 and has been a thorn in the flesh for long-time ruler President Yoweri Museveni.
At 37, he is the figurehead of a new generation who grew up under Mr Museveni but want to see change and his anti-government songs have helped win him a big following.
Police had withdrawn from Mr Wine’s residence on Saturday, only to arrest him a few days later.
From Tuesday to Saturday last week, Wine found himself under house arrest at his home in Kampala as police officers blocked his way when he tried to leave for a concert at his nightclub.
Last week, Enanga described the situation as a “preventive arrest” imposed when the authorities decide someone is about to commit a crime.
The cancellation by the authorities of one his performances last week led to clashes between opposition supporters and baton-wielding police who also fired tear gas.
Several times in recent months, the authorities have stepped in to prevent Wine from holding concerts and his house arrest last week was part of the same scheme to trim his popularity and frustrate his efforts.