Ugandan opposition leader and popular singer Bobi Wine has been freed after a brief arrest by the police. Wine had been taken away just after he was confirmed as a candidate in next year’s presidential election.
The local NBS Television, reporting from the scene, said the singer was put into a police van amid violent scuffles between police and his supporters.
Wine on Monday had gone to the nomination centre in Kyambogo in the capital, Kampala as Uganda’s electoral body started the nomination process for presidential candidates in the upcoming 2021 general elections.
Police fired tear gas to disperse his supporters who turned up to support him on nomination day.
Bobi Wine presented his nomination papers to the electoral commission to be cleared to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in next year’s election.
Joel Senyonyi, spokesman for Wine’s NUP party, said “they [police] used a hammer and broke the windows of his vehicle and forcefully dragged him out … they bundled him into their own vehicle and took off”.
So far, 10 aspirants are vying for the top job. Others include former army commander General Mugisha Muntu and former Security Minister General Henry Tumukunde.
President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the country for 34 years, was the first to be nominated. He warned that any opponents who destabilize the country will be dealt with.
One presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat was arrested at the headquarters of his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.
Soldiers and police officers have been heavily deployed at the party’s offices, the Daily Monitor newspaper reports.
Mr Amuriat is reported to have vowed to defy restrictions on the number of supporters accompanying him to the electoral commission where he is scheduled to submit his nomination papers at midday. The newspaper has tweeted a video of his arrest.
These are some of the events analysts say makes the outlook of the politics tense as Uganda braces up for elections February next year.
Wine, 38, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, aims to end President Yoweri Museveni’s 34 years in power.