DAILYNEWS UG |Kampala|
Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi arrived back in the Country via Entebbe International Airport. He was taken into a waiting police vehicle, registration number, UP 7500 and driven straight to Kasangati police station near his home in Magere.
Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine, spent 19 days in the US receiving treatment following “alleged torture” at the hands of presidential guards, Special Forces Command (SFC).
The security forces then whisked him off to his home in an attempt to cut off his excited crowds of supporters who were waiting to welcome him on Entebbe Road and in Kampala city centre. Bobi Wine’s home at Magere in Wakiso District on the outskirts of Kampala city, lies some 28 miles or 45kms off Entebbe International Airport.
Bobi Wine, who has increasingly become a harsh critic of President Museveni’s government, was returning from the United States of America where he underwent specialised treatment after he was brutally arrested and reportedly tortured by security forces.
Mr Kyagulanyi and scores of other Opposition politicians were arrested and reportedly brutalised on the final day of the Arua Municipality parliamentary by-election campaigns last month after they were accused of pelting President Museveni’s motorcade after the head of State also campaigned in the area.
Yesterday, MP Kyagulanyi arrived at Entebbe Airport at about 1pm and was quickly driven off in a 14-vehicle convoy to his home through the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.
Mr Kyagulanyi said once their plane touched down at Entebbe airport, the security officers stormed the plane, grabbed him and shoved him into a waiting police car.
It was not until 3pm, nearly two hours later that Bobi Wine was driven off in a Prado vehicle owned by the police and guarded by armed Counter Terrorism Unit officers.
At Abaita Ababiri, just 13-minutes’ drive (7.1 km) on the Entebbe-Kampala road, the heavily armed soldiers invaded Abaita market, beat up traders and forced them to close their shops, bringing business to standstill. After Abaita Ababiri, the police officers and soldiers blocked traffic to clear way for the racing drive for MP Kyagulanyi and his Kampala-bound military escort.
Back home, the pop artiste-turned politician said the manner in which he was handled is a demonstration of how the government is determined to keep Ugandans in servitude.
“They confiscated my passport and documents. I don’t know where they are right now. They drove up to here [home]. I’m going to continue from where I stopped,” MP Kyagulanyi said at his home.
“I am not willing to go into exile. I was born here and I will be here,” he added.
The youthful but visibly exhausted MP declined to take questions from journalists, saying he needed time to meet his children and wife.
He said his health has improved but he still has pain in the back and shoulder.
In Magere, almost three hours after he landed at Entebbe Airport and promptly chauffeured away, Bobi Wine was accorded a triumphant return home.
He arrived to a deafening noise of celebration in the neighbourhood.
But police blocked journalists and supporters from entering Bobi Wine’s home.
Earlier on Wednesday, the police had made it clear in a statement that they would transport the legislator upon arrival straight to his home anyone who stands by the roadside to catch his glimpse or welcome him at the airport would be arrested.
They did. Police and soldiers, supported with intelligence operatives, set up several roadblocks on the highway to the airport and blocked motorists from using the alternative Entebbe expressway.
Those who dared were either arrested or beaten, forcing them to retreat. Journalists were barred from accessing the airport and about have a dozen were taken in for questioning before they were released later.
Later, Mr Emilian Kayima, the Police Spokesperson said in a statement: “Today, Thursday, 20 September, 2018, Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi returned to the country and was peacefully escorted by the police to his residence in Magere, Wakiso District.
We wish to thank him for cooperating with the police at Entebbe International Airport that provided him with transport, escort and a lead car to his home.”
He commended “members of the public,” for in his words “adhering” to police’s guidelines issued on Wednesday for Bobi’s home-coming after three weeks away in the USA from where he led an international media blitz to criticise the Uganda government.
After police Spokesman Kayima’s statement, the Uganda Media Centre (UMC), a government communication clearing house, issued a public notice to confirm Bobi Wine was safely at his home after “cooperating” with the police.
With journalists denied access to the airport, it remained unclear what transpired on the tarmac from where the legislator was seized by security forces.
But the Uganda Media Centre executive director, Mr Ofwono Opondo, said Mr Kyagulanyi did not attempt to resist police request to drive him home.
Police disrupted our plans, says bobi’s family
Family members of Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, have said police caught them off-guard and foiled their earlier plans.
Mr Fred Nyanzi, the legislator’s elder brother, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the earlier programme was made based on their rights as Ugandans.
“The police did all they did against our will. This was a forceful arrest and you know that Bobi is still sick so he could not resist,” Mr Nyanzi said.
Initially, the family and organisers of Bobi’s return had said he would be driven to Najjanankumbi to see his ailing grandmother, go to Kamwokya for prayers andthen proceed to Kasangati for a mass that had been organised before heading home in Magere, Wakiso District.
He told critics that people power is not an organised group. “We have been in existence as people power for less than three months. We have gone across the country and the world more yet NRM and FDC have stayed longer?”
Mr Eddy Yawe, one of Bobi Wine’s elder brothers, said things would have changed if he had not been arrested the night before.
“We have learned that people are hungry for change. I would have done something to change police decision maybe if I had not been arrested,” Mr Yawe said.
Reported By Andrew Bagala, Derrick Wandera, Risdel Kasasira & Paul Adude