Ugandan singer Bobi Wine arrested after validation as presidential candidate

Kampala, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- Ugandan police arrested singer Bobi Wine on Tuesday shortly after he was officially approved as a presidential candidate in the country’s 2021 elections.

The singer, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was detained by officers in Kampala who fired tear gas at a crowd of his supporters and dragged him out of his car.

Joel Senyonyi, a spokesman for Bobi Wine’s political party, confirmed to Efe that he is in police custody.

He was arrested when he tried to go to the headquarters of his party, the National Unity Platform, to present his election program.

Wine, 38, grew up in a poor neighborhood in Kampala and is the main opponent of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 76, who has been in power since 1986.

Social inequality, which has increased in recent decades despite a growing national economy, has damaged Museveni’s popularity especially among impoverished areas where Wine is favored.

Wine described his validation as a presidential candidate as “a very important step in our revolution for the liberation of the Ugandan people”.

Clashes between police and the musician’s supporters took place in Kamwokya, a slum area in the north of Kampala, and elsewhere in the capital.

A ban on mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic has not deterred his followers who filled the streets of the capital on Tuesday morning.

“We are not afraid of the weapons of the police. We are tired of the Museveni dictatorship. It’s time for our revolution,” a Kamwokya protester told Efe.

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