Kyadondo East Member of Parliament (MP) Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, commonly known as Bobi Wine, has spoken out after Police raided the hotel in which he spent the night.
Early morning on Wednesday, Bugiri’s Planet Hotel was surrounded by security officers who were searching for the MP who is in Bugiri campaigning for Jeema candidate Asuman Basalirwa.
Basalirwa, whose hotel was also raided, is standing for the Bugiri Municipality MP seat.
Despite earlier reports indicating that he had been arrested, Bobi Wine has posted on social media that they have only arrested 16 of his team members.
“So the security forces looked for me up to 5:30am this morning and failed to find me but arrested 16 of our team members and drove them to an unknown place,” he has written.
Bobi Wine has listed the arrested as Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro (Deputy spokesman DP), Denis Tumuhairwe, Shariff Ssenyonjo (Bobi Wine’s personal assistant), Ramadhan Lukwago, renowned videographer Kim XP, photographer Tabs Ku Camera, Ukasha Ssekajja, Joseph Ssenyange, Julius Katongole, Njuba (a driver), Roy Ssemboga (former Makerere University Guild President), Andrew Natumanya, Sulaiman Kakooza, Kenneth Kiwanuka plus two yet-to-identified ladies.
He revealed that they have been informed that the arrests were made due to a pending visit by President Museveni to Bugiri today.
“We are being told that since President Museveni is campaigning in Bugiri today, they wanted to arrest me and the team so as to ensure he finds a smooth ground. This is very wrong and unfortunate. This is our country! We’re in a political contest, not in a military contest. All of us should be left to campaign for our respective candidates so that the people decide for themselves who to vote. The NRM more than anyone else should remember that intimidation of this kind has been used throughout history but it never wins in the end,” he has written.
Bobi Wine has said that they shall carry on with today’s rally as planned.
These arrests come after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) secretary general, Justine Kasule Lumumba, on Monday expressed concern over a group of people from Kampala allegedly led by Bobi Wine whom she alleged are engaging in acts of lawlessness within the area.
Ms Lumumba appealed to the police to intervene, fearing more people risk being injured ahead of the July 27 election.
This Friday, voters take to the polls to elect a Mayor and MP for the newly created Bugiri municipality.
Campaigns officially end today and President Museveni and Dr Kizza Besigye are expected in the municipality to drum up support for their respective party candidates.
Three candidates are vying for the MP seat and they include Basalirwa (Jeema), Eunice Namatende (FDC) and Joel Wamono, an independent.
The would-be fourth candidate, Hajji Siraj Lyavala, formerly the district chairman, recently stepped down from the race in favour of Basalirwa.