Africa & World

You can be arrested, Museveni warns Bobi Wine

UGANDAN President Yoweri Museveni has warned the National Unity Platform presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine that he’s not immune to arrest for as long as he continues breaking the law.

Museveni says his government is not ready to preside over a nation of rioters who always go on the streets to burn car tyres, destroy government vehicles, rob bystanders or beat up the ruling NRM party supporters whenever their candidate gets arrested.

Addressing the nation on Sunday evening, Museveni said the supporters of Kyagulanyi should know that being a politician doesn’t make one immune to arrest and should therefore desist from any further riotous acts because the state will act swiftly and decisively. 

“The idea that Kyagulanyi is untouchable because he’s a politician is not acceptable and must never be repeated… We should not be a country of rioters. Keeping the law is everyone’s duty, it’s not a favour. You are obliged to report every lawbreaker,” warned Museveni. 

“This will never happen again, this will never happen again. Anybody with ears should hear but no person will ever attack the person wearing the uniform of NRM. The perpetrators have already tested the consequences,” added Museveni. 

Following the arrest of Kyagulanyi in Luuka district on November 18, allegedly over flouting the COVID-19 guidelines, sporadic protests erupted all over the country leading to the death of at least 54 people.

Museveni said he can only regret the death of the 20 people who were killed by the stray bullets but not those who were killed for engaging in riots and fighting the security personnel.

According to Museveni, 32 of the 54 killed in the two days of protests were active rioters. Museveni said only families who lost loved ones to stray bullets will be the ones who will be compensated by government.

Museveni blamed the death of the 54 on Kyagulanyi, who he accused of acting irresponsibly by putting his supporters at the risk of contracting coronavirus disease by encouraging them to congregate. 

“I have not even once stopped to wave at NRM supporters. I simply slow down, remain inside the car and wave at them using signs and I advise them to keep social distance using the hand sign and to put on masks…

“I could wear the N95 mask, face shield and stand up in an open roofed car and still stay safe myself. However that would be criminal but encouraging people to infect each other. 

“To see a leader encouraging people to congregate as if they are doing the right thing is really criminal…The people you say are your supporters you want them to die?” asked Museveni.

Museveni further blamed what he called the corrupt and incompetent police which has led to the creation of an impression that Kyagulanyi’s supporters with the help of external forces can make the country “ungovernable.”

The president said he’s aware of all these schemes and being the master of strategy, Kyagulanyi and his external anti-Uganda actors will not succeed.

He said through intelligence, they have been following the opposition politicians and wondered why the critics of his government’s response to the riots are silent about the actions of the rioters. – Uganda Observer ■

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