The Latest: Uganda’s pop star politician vows to fight on
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The Latest on Uganda’s pop star politician (all times local):
Uganda’s pop star politician Bobi Wine is vowing to continue his fight for more freedom in the country “or we shall die trying.”
The singer whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu spoke to reporters shortly after police escorted him home from the airport amid heavy security. He says that “I didn’t know where they were taking me. They just grabbed me.”
Ssentamu has emerged as a popular voice against longtime President Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. He faces a charge of treason after his arrest last month over his alleged role in an incident in which the president’s convoy was pelted with stones.
The singer and opposition lawmaker denies wrongdoing and says that “it looks like the government is determined to keep us slaves in our own country.”
He says he will stay in Uganda because “I cannot be a refugee.”
A lawyer for Ugandan pop star and opposition activist Bobi Wine says his client has been put into a police van and driven away after arriving home from the United States.
Medard Sseggona says he “expected” the actions by security forces, who warned they would enforce a ban on all rallies and gatherings.
Police said they would escort Wine, whose real name Is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, to his home just outside the capital, Kampala, to prevent public disturbances.
Ssentamu contested that decision, saying he is a free man who should be allowed to travel anywhere he wants.
Ssentamu has said he was tortured while in detention after being arrested last month for his alleged role in an incident in which the president’s convoy was pelted with stones.
Ugandan security forces have deployed heavily before the return of pop star and opposition figure Bobi Wine from the United States.
Lawyer Asuman Basalirwa says police have detained the singer’s brother and at least two other people who were driving to the airport to welcome him home. Authorities say they will not permit any rallies related to his arrival.
Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, is expected to arrive at Entebbe International Airport midday Thursday. He had sought treatment in the U.S. for injuries allegedly sustained during state torture, which Uganda’s government denies.
The singer, who won a national assembly seat last year, faces treason charges over his alleged role in an incident last month in which the president’s convoy was pelted with stones. He denies wrongdoing.