A photo posted on social media by the Platform for National Unity appears to show the party leader being arrested by two men.
Uganda’s main opposition leader, Bobi Wine, was arrested upon his return to the country after a trip abroad, according to his party, the National Unity Platform (NUP).
The singer-turned-politician arrived at the Entebbe International Airport on Thursday morning after a tour of several countries, including South Africa.
“Our president (Bobi Wine) was picked up by regime agents as soon as he landed at the airport,” David Lewis Rubongoya, NUP secretary general, said on X, formerly Twitter.
The message was accompanied by a photo appearing to show two men grabbing him by the arms on the tarmac.
– National Unity Platform (@NUP_Ug) October 5, 2023
There was no immediate comment from police.
Bobi Wine’s supporters had planned to accompany him en masse to his home north of the capital, Kampala, to welcome him back, but police had declared such gatherings illegal.
“Such a procession is likely to disrupt normal traffic, movement of individuals and operations of businesses along the Entebbe – Gayaza highway. It can also attract criminal activity, posing risks to passers-by, motorists, passengers and businesses through acts of theft or other criminal activity,” the police spokesperson said on Wednesday. Kampala, Patrick Onyango.
Last month, Ugandan police announced they were banning rallies organized by the NUP across the country due to law and order concerns.
Ugandan authorities have long used so-called “preventive arrest” to arrest opposition leaders, often detaining them for several hours before sending them home to prevent mass protests.
Bobi Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, is a prominent critic of President Yoweri Museveni’s government and has been the subject of numerous arrests and alleged human rights violations in the past.
He made a failed bid for the presidency in 2021 against Museveni, who is serving a sixth term in power.